Kulam ante pani, kammatanam nammukunnodu kamma ayyadu, kapukasevadu kapodayyadu, kummrodi kunda, chakalodi banda, kamsali setha, saaleela neta, vaallumaatrame brathakadaaniki kaavu, andarini bratikinchataaniki. Nuvvu evaru ante, emi chestuntavani, nee nethurentani kaadu, ala adiginavaadu manishe kaadu” – No sooner did the hero of the film, ‘Kanche’ mouth these dialogues the audience clapped and cheered.
After a long time, the Telugu audience applauded for not just the dialogues that raise the stature of their hero, but the ones that elevate humanity in a human being. The lines that are drawing audience repeatedly to the theatre were penned by Sai Madhav Burra. For the uninitiated, he has earlier written dialogues for Krish’s ‘Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum’.
Remember the memorable line – “Adi kalaa nidralo vachedi, idi kala nidra lepedi” from the film? Sai also penned dialogues for films like ‘Gopala Gopala’, ‘Malli Malli Idi Raani Roju’ and ‘Dongaata’. Just a few films old, he managed to write dialogues for the most diverse genres and styles of filmmaking.
Speaking about his latest success, ‘Kanche’, he shares his experience of working with director Krish, “As soon as he thinks of the story, he gets the writer involved from the screenplay stage itself. He allows the writer to understand the characters, and how and why, a scene has been created. So, it becomes extremely easy to write because the characters are always along with me in the journey of making the film.”
However, “Working with Krish means writing and rewriting until he is happy and thinks the dialogue has come the way he wanted – there is no compromise,” he states. “Any other writer in my place would have penned equally well while working with Krish.”
Sai comes across as modest and extremely passionate about his profession, and he gives the credit of his success as a writer to his roots that come from the theatre world. The hub of theatre activity, Tenali, is his birth place. He has been on stage from the time he was a young kid and was also a playwright.
He says he does not know any other world. “I cannot think of doing any other work. I always knew I will be in this field. My guruvu in theatre Nutalapati Satyanarayana used to ghost write for films and from him I learnt the techniques of screenwriting.
After coming to Hyderabad, I used to write short films and worked for the TV serial ‘Puttadi Bomma’ that was conferred with Nandi award for best screenplay. One thing led to the other and I am here writing for films. One day, I hope to write story for a film. But currently there is no time,” he confessed.
“Despite a few differences like time durations, scene presentation, etc, writing for plays, television serials or movies is all the same. A writer can write anything. I think theatre is like a school, where you are in direct interaction with the audience. You understand the pulse of the audience better – where they are bored, where they applaud etc. Great writers like Paruchuri, Ganesh Patro and Gollapudi had all come from the Natakam.”
His background, experience of working as a television serial writer and writing for unique subjects in the beginning of his film career itself coupled with his passion for work made him a voracious writer. He can work on 2-3 films or more depending on the subject of the film, he says, “I can sit anywhere and everywhere and start writing.”
Sai Madhav is an avid reader. He is from the Andhra Praja Natyamandali, Tenali and an active member of Abhyudaya Rachayithala Sangham. Even as he admits that he is destined to be where he is, it is his attitude towards his work that has kept in good stead, “Nachina Pani Kashtamayina Ishtapadi Chestamu (When you like something you do it well, despite the hard work),” he concludes.