Ode to mellifluous mother tongue
When Kothapalli Seetharam entered into his dream world of animation, he wanted to do something different. The ‘animation’ sector was blooming at that...
When Kothapalli Seetharam entered into his dream world of animation, he wanted to do something different. The ‘animation’ sector was blooming at that time and many reputed production houses were shelling millions for animation films. In fact, it involved high budget and skilled workmen.
But Seetharam’s intention was different. He wanted to make an animation movie with the background of Indian mythology and release it world-wide. He thought t it should promote cultural heritage of India.
After learning that ‘Panchatantra’ is the world’s largest circulated book and has been translated into all world languages, which have script and literature before 2000 years itself, he decided to work on it.
“With an intention of visualising ‘Panchatantra’, after one and half years of painstaking research I’ve invented a new format with which animation can be done in a short time with minimum budget. For this format I have invented 13 kinds of technical devices.
As I am economically very poor after many painstaking trials, I have produced two short films with this format with me handling all the departments. These films were screened in 14 reputed international film festivals and received great appreciation and fame. Many eminent newspapers published articles and many popular TV channels telecast my interviews and these I felt are like certificates for my techniques,” he narrated his experience.
Seetharam’s aspiration is to present Indian culture and literature at international level. He hails from Loddabhadra, a remote village in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh.
He named his production house ‘Moral Productions’. Meanwhile, he commenced his second project on Yogi Vemana, the poet, who preached morals through universal truths in the form of poems.
“I’ve undertaken this project for the promotion of my mother tongue. The project has achieved a record as ‘world’s first prosody poetic animation’ this project has been supplied to 3,200 schools in our state by Sarva Sikhsha Abhayan, Rajiv Vidya Mission.
So far 22,000 copies were circulated,” he said with a sense of pride. This project is successfully serving its purpose of teaching Telugu poems even to those children who doesn’t know Telugu. These poems have been used as caller tunes by thousands of people.
“Recently a six-year-old boy, Manjunath from Tirupati, learned 100 poems watching this project and started reciting them fluently. This has given me a great satisfaction. Even if I leave this world may this project stand enlightening Telugu society for centuries ahead,” hopes Sitharam.
This success drove him further to take up another project on ‘Dasara Poems’. These are the poems that used to be sung during the Dasara season by the students. Children would carry a special bow and arrow and visit from house to house along with their teachers. People would offer money or gifts to the students and teachers. Gradually this tradition disappeared, and the beautiful songs vanished from usage.
“It took me tough research to find the poems as these are not in use. But, I could find maximum poems and got them recorded and produced a beautiful album,” he appeared content. These poems were received with great warmth by all, especially from the generations that knew them.
Awards like Bharat Jyoti, Kala Samrat, Saraswatiputra, Srujanaputra, Sahithya Nidhi adorned him. His name was embellished in Limca Book of Records, Telugu Book of Records and Wonder Book of Records. But, apart from the recognition, he wants enthusiasts and language lovers to come forward and join hands to promote his melodious mother tongue around the world.
“Language survives through our culture. Conserving our culture is protecting our language,” Sitharam says.
By: Dr G Balakrishn