I read from the news paper that Bujjai had been in the city the other day to attend a personal function. In the accompanying photo I see him with the elegant cartoonist B.V. Satya Murthy. Sathya Murthy is the creator of the popular cartoon character, Chaduvulrao, the romantic if naive young man. i understand , Mr. Sathya Murthy had a brain operation. The operation left his voice a bit hoarse and his mouth a little bit deformed. But, fortunately it has not affected his creativity and art.
Bujjayi is the creator of the cartoon character Dumbu. Dumbu had been active during the late fifties and the early sixties and had been a contemporary of Mullapudi’s Budugu.
Compared to the naughtier and sophisticated Budugu, Dumbu had been a bit dumb but lovable still.
Bujjayi also has the distinction of having created the cartoon strip series of the ancient Sanskrit book of children’s stories, The Pancha Tantra , which ran in the Illustrated Weekly of India continuouly for many years.Incidentally, Bujjayi is the son of the “Andhra Shelley”, late Dr. Devulapalli Krishna Sastry.. Devula palli so loved his child Bujjayi, that he did not wish him to have any formal education.
Mark Twain once said, ” I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” Devulapalli did not allow formal schooling interfere with his son’s education. So, we are fortunate to have had Dumbu and the Panchatantra..
The conceited character Gireesam of Gurazada in his epic drama , ” Kanya Shulkam”, declares rather pompously, ” Talking with me is enough education for you.”.Devulapalli was humble enough never to say so, though it was true of him and many other associates and acquaintances with whom he was in constant contact. It is how Bujjayi got his great education.
When I talk of Bujjayi and Devulapalli, a story featuring them and the eminent Carnatic and Hindustani vocalist of the All India Radio,, the late Voleti Venkateswarlu comes to mind. This was cited by the Light Music exponent M. Chittaranjan in his book. Lalitha Sangeetham.
Sometime in !968, All India Radio, planned to hold a cultural event to celebrate the ensuing rainy season that year.. Voleti Venkateswarlu, who was a program producer at A.I.R. Vijayawada went over to Hyderabad to take part in the event. He meets Dr. Devulapalli at the latter’s house and there he happens to hear a Thumri in Raaga Pahadi, sung by the eminent Pakistani singers, Salamat Ali and Najakat Ali.. The LP was being played by Bujjayi on his turntable in another room. Mr. Voleti, gets into the spirit , and himself begins to sing an alaap of the raaga for over half an hour. Devulapalli is happy and offers to pen a lyric then and there,and would Voleti, set it to Pahadi and sing in the evening’s event?
Voleti is overjoyed and there goes the story behind the song,, ” kadachenate sakiya yee raatiiree ?” which he presented at the Ravindra Bharati Auditorium that evening.
A forlorn girl is recounting her woe to her maid-friend.This song oddly is sung by Voleti in his rich masculine voice, but you will not mind it when you hear his sweet rendering of the song in Pahadi
I translate it below for you.
“Oh my friend, will this eternal night end for me at all?
Alas, this separation from my beloved weighs heavily on me, Oh, my friend,
It is cloudy now, my lord is far away and this wretched sleep eludes me.. Oh my friend!
Like this empty pot beside me, i eagerly but vainly wait for fulfillment.
This lonely life is so bitter, I can’t bear to live., Oh, my friend.”.