U Atreya Sarma receives 'PSAPR Memorial Literary Award 2024'

Privileged and humbled was U Atreya Sarma to receive the “Padma Shri Asavadi Prakasa Rao Memorial Literary Award 2024” on Sunday, 28 January 2024 in a stellar literary cum art meeting at Ravindra Bharati, Hyderabad—in the presence of the 93-year-old ‘Padma Shri’ recipient Dr Tripuraneni Hanuman Chowdary, chief guest. 

The award was by Lalita Kalabhirama Pinchcham (founded by Gollapalli Jayanna, renowned artist-sculptor, and his artist-better-half Manjula Rani in memory of his late parents) in cooperation with the Dr Asavadi family (represented by Sirisha Vani, daughter of late Dr Asavadi Prakasa Rao). Let it be updated with modesty that this is the 6th award received by Atreya Sarma. 

Dr Hanuman Chowdary, the chief guest, is the Chairman of Pragna Bharati (Telangana & AP). A prolific writer especially on matters of communication, he was the founder-chairman & CMD of the Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL) before it was taken over by the Tatas. He was also the IT advisor with cabinet rank for the undivided AP government. The meeting, chaired by philanthropist-cum-lover of literature Kallepu Sagar Rao, was ably compered by Dr Mallipudi Ravichandra, a young & dynamic scholar. 

Accepting the prestigious award with humility, U Atreya Sarma, recalled his close and warm literary association with the late Dr Asavadi Prakasa Rao who for his ‘Padma Shri’ ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan had the former as his official companion. He also complimented the Gollapalli Jayanna-Manjula Rani duo for their alchemic literary-artistic initiative before concluding by reciting a poem by Dr Asavadi in praise of the unique beauty of the Telugu language. 

The other dignitaries who graced the dais included well-known poets Dr Yakkaluri Sriramulu and Annamaraju Prabhakara Rao.

The event witnessed 5 more luminaries receiving awards for accomplishments in their respective fields — Prof SM Peeran, Retd. Principal, JNTU (Life achievement), Prof Moola Mallikarjun Reddy (Theatre), Prakash Kurchigi (Drawing & Painting), Sagili Pullaiah (Folk Bhajan), and Kuntipuram Koundinya Tilak (Metrical Poetry). 

The suggestion by the active nonagenarian Dr Tripuraneni Hanuman Chowdary—that we should all begin any meeting with a greeting of ‘Namaskar’ and end with ‘Jai Shri Ram’—was well received with everyone agreeing to accept Shri Ram as a pristine symbol of the quintessence of our indigenous Indic culture. And, the ‘Life Achievement’ awardee, Prof SM Peeran, a Muslim with Sanskrit-Telugu competence, echoed the views of Dr Chowdary. By the way, Dr Peeran was the guru of Jayanna. 

And there were 6 more personages heartily feted for their contribution to their respective areas—Smt. Putla Susila (Education), Dr Yelchala Narsimlu (Literature), Dr Sivanandalahari Reddy (Science & Technology), Dr JV Sridhar Patnala (Sculpture), S Mahabub Basha ‘Nasib’ (Drawing & Painting), and Godugunuru Bala Guravaiah (Chekka Bhajana/Folk Devotional Song & Dance).
A soul of oozing inborn friendliness, Gollapalli Jayanna, MCJ, BFA, founder of the Lalita Kalabhirama Pinchcham (a service organisation devoted to culture in AP & Telangana) and art teacher in Kendriya Vidyalaya makes it a point to felicitate his childhood friends as well—in every annual meeting of his organisation. And the current one was the 19th annual one. 

The event also saw the launch of 3 books in Telugu. While Eko Na Vimshati, a souvenir capturing the activities of Lalita Kalabhirama Pinchcham across 19 years of its trajectory from 2004 to 2023, was unveiled by U Atreya Sarma whose articles—one in English and one in Telugu—are a part of it; Dr Tripuraneni Hanuman Chowdary released the other two—Jayamanjula Vani, penned by Gollapalli Manjula Rani, BFA—the artist spouse of Jayanna—about the artwork of her husband; and Nandamuri Chandamama (a brief biography of the legendary Telugu film hero NT Rama Rao through metrical poetry) composed by Annamaraju Prabhakara Rao.

While poet Annamaraju Prabhakara Rao gave a peep into Eko Na Vimshati and Jayamanjula Vani; dancer Mankala Lakshmi Manasa touched upon the highlights of Nandamuri Chandamama

The meeting, starting with a prayer by Srikala Jayan and a flute play by Somasekhar, was preceded by an exhibition of the variegated artwork (Sculpture, Carving, Terracotta, Fibre, Painting, Drawing) of Gollapalli Jayanna and Manjula Rani.

In short, it was a spell-binding blend of artistic, literary, and cultural bonhomie—with the hosts at their amiable best with every dignitary, volunteer, and participant. 


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