Sri Sri (1910-83) — Srirangam Srinivasa Rao is known as Mahakavi (great poet) in Telugu poetry and Sri Sri is his pen-name. He was born in Visakhapatanam. He graduated, in Zoology, from Madras Christian College in 1931. He was the Editor of Vishakha weekly (1932) and News Editor of Andhra Prabha daily (1939-42). He worked in All India Radio (AIR) – New Delhi (1942), as a Laboratory Assistant in Military establishment, Lucknow (1943), as an employee in Nizam Nawab Reform Secretriate (1946) and as an employee in Anandha Vani (1946-49). He settled in Royapettah, Madras in 1947. In 1943 the first conference of the Abhyudaya Rachayitala Sangham (ARASAM) was conducted at Tenali with Tapi Dharama Rao as President. The Association was committed to all round social development, and emphasized the need to fight the forces of imperialism and fascism. The writers resolved to promote the cause of the working class. Marxist thinking entered into the writings of the young poets. Sri Sri became the cynosure of Telugu poetry. He produced Maro Prapancham (The Other World). While Maha Prasthanam was the forerunner of ARASAM poetry, Maha Prasthanam was the poet’s contribution to contemporary revolutionary writing of VIRASAM (Viplava Rachayitala Sangham). Among other works are Siprali and Khadga Srushti. Sri Sri’s poetry was progressive and, at the same time, it was often tinged with surrealism too. Mahakavi Sri Sri is the pioneer and gave a new look to modern Telugu poetry. A master of poetic diction, Sri Sri is an acknowledged as “a splendid alchemist who created superb and marvellous originals in Telugu, absorbing and transcending the Eastern and Western poetic influences”. Many other movements with various groups were launched in Telugu poetry, including the Digambar group of poets comprising Nagna Muni (M.H.Kesava Rao), Nikhileswar (Yadava Reddy), Jwala Mukhi (Veera Raghavacharyulu), Cherabanda Raju (Baddam Bhaskar Reddy), Bhairavayya (Man Mohan Sahay) and Maha Swapna (Kammisetti Venkateswara Rao). Sri Sri remained the centre of attraction for all poets of succeeding generations. He received several awards and honours, including the Soviet Land Nehru award (1966), the Rajalakshmi Foundation award (1979) and the Sahitya Akademi award (1972) for his work of poetry, Sri Sri Sahityamu. He died on June15th, 1983.
His major work – `MAHAPRASTHANAM‘ was an anthology of poetry which
began with the poem `Mahaprasthanam’. We would like to share the pleasure
we had in reading this poem with all other existing annd potential fans of
Sri Sri with a transliteraion of one of his most famous poems: ‘Mahaprasthanam’.