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Dr. C. Narayana Reddy
Dr. C. Narayana Reddy.
Born (1931-07-19)19 July 1931
Hanumajipet, Hyderabad State, British India
(now Telangana, India)
Died 12 June 2017(2017-06-12) (aged 85)
Alma mater Osmania University
Occupation Poet, playwright, composer, artist, professor, politician
Awards Sahitya Akademi Award (1973)
Padma Shri (1977)
Kala Prapoorna (1978)
Jnanpith Award (1988)
Padma Bhushan (1992)
C Narayana Reddy Autograph in Telugu, Urdu and English.jpg

Cingireddi Narayana Reddy (29 July 1931 – 12 June 2017), popularly known as CiNaRe, was an Indian Telugu-language poet and writer. Reddy had produced over eighty literary works including poems, prose-plays, lyrical plays, translations, and ghazals. He was also a professor, film lyricist, actor, and Rajya Sabha politician. Reddy was awarded the Jnanpith Award by the Government of India in 1988, and he served as the Vice Chancellor of Telugu University.

He ventured into the film industry as a lyricist with the 1962 film Gulebakavali Katha. Subsequently, he penned the lyrics for more than 3,500 songs and won two state Nandi Awards for Best Lyricist.

Early life and career

Cingireddi Narayana Reddy was born on 29 July 1931 in the village of Hanumajipet in present-day Telangana to a Telugu family of Malla Reddy and Buchamma. His father was a farmer and his mother was a housewife. After completing his higher secondary education, he went on to study at the Osmania University, Hyderabad in 1949. Reddy studied in Urdu medium until his graduation as education in Telugu was not available under Nizam's rule. He took Telugu as his subject during his graduation. Reddy received his Master of Arts degree in 1954 and became a college lecturer in 1955. He received Ph.D. in 1962 on "Modern Traditions of Telugu" and became a professor in 1976.

He did his primary, secondary and higher secondary in Urdu medium. He studied Telugu privately during schooling in Sircilla under the guidance and tutelage of Gurus Satavadhani Seshadri Ramana Kavulu of Machilipatnam. He was mentored by the legendary poet and Jnanpith awardee Kavi Samrat Viswanatha Satyanarayana of Vijayawada, the first principal of Karimnagar Government College (1959–61). After completing his primary and secondary education at his hometown, he moved to Hyderabad to pursue his degree education. He learned of the Modern Telugu literary giants and read books written by Gurram Jashua, Sri Sri, Devulapalli Krishna Sastry.

Naryana Reddy married Suseela and with her had four daughters. Reddy instituted an award named after his wife which is presented annually to the female writers. Reddy was nominated to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament, in August 1997.

Literary works

Reddy's first published work was a poetry collection Navvani Puvvu (The Bashful Flower) in 1953 and later went on to publish several other works like Vennela Vada (The Monnlight Town, 1959), Jalapatam (The Waterfall), Divvela Muvvalu (Candle Bells, 1959), Ritu Chakram (Cycle of Seasons, 1964), Madhyataragati Mandahasam (The Smile of the Middle Class, 1968), and Mantalu Manavudu (Flames and the Man, 1970). His 1980 published poetic work Viswambhara (The Earth) received wide critical acclaim and has been translated into several Indian languages. The Sahitya Akademi appreciated it as "monumental work in free verse depicts the journey of man through the ages as he strives to attain spiritual, artistic, and scientific excellence."

Reddy's Nagarjuna Sagaram is a Buddhist epic poetry based on a heart-breaking love story of a lady Santisri who comes to study Buddhism and falls in love with a sculptor Padmadeva. His 1957 Karpura Vasantha Rayulu was an epic poem retelling the romance between the King Kumara Giri of Reddy dynasty and his court dancer Lakuma. The book was dedicated to Telugu historian Mallampalli Somasekhara Sarma whose main contributions were regarding the recording of Reddy history.

Bhimsen Nirmal translated Vishwambhara into Hindi as Viswambhara and his Telugu poetry collection Prapanchapadulu was translated into Sanskrit as Prapanchapadi by R. Sri Hari. Nirmal and Hari won the Sahitya Akademi Translation Award for these works in 1991 and 2001 respectively.

Along with poetry, Reddy also composed musical plays Ramappa (1960), based on Kakatiya dynasty and the collection of ten plays Narayana Reddy Natikalu (Play-lets of Narayana Reddy, 1978). He published analysis of modern Telugu poetry, its precursors, its progression through various phases and its modern-day forms in Adhunikandhara Kavitamu - Sampradayamulu Prayogamalu: Modern Telugu Poetry Tradition and Experiment. His 1997 published book Matti Manishi Akasam (Man Beyond Earth and Sky) consists of a long poem of around hundred pages. He wrote a few travelogues about his travels to various countries including a tour of Malaysia in Muchataga Moodu Varalu, about Russia in Soviet Russsialo Padi Rojulu and about the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and France in Paschatya Desallo Yabai Rojulu.

Reddy's first film as a lyricist was Gulebakavali Katha (1962) which was directed by Kamalakara Kameswara Rao. Reddy later went on to write more than 3000 film songs. His last song was for the movie Inkennallu (2011) which was directed by Syed Rafi.



Year Song(s) Film Music Director Ref(s)
1962 Nannu Dhochukunduvate Gulebakavali Katha Joseph, Vijaya Krishna Murthy
1964 Telisindile Telisindile Ramudu Bheemudu Pendyala Nageswara Rao
1964 Pagale Vennela Pooja Phalam Saluri Rajeswara Rao
1966 Changure Bangaru Raja Sri Krishna Pandaveeyam T. V. Raju
1969 Bhale Manchi Roju Jarigina Katha Ghantasala
1969 Enthavaru Gaani Bhale Thammudu T. V. Raju
1970 Telugu Jaathi Manadi Thalla? Pellama? T. V. Raju
1970 Ee Reyi Theeyanadi Chitti Chellelu Saluri Rajeswara Rao
1972 Gunna Mamidi Komma Meedha Bala Mitrula Katha Satyam
1973 Ee Jeevana Tharangalalo Jeevana Tarangalu J. V. Raghavulu
1974 Vasthadu Naa Raju Alluri Seetarama Raju P. Adinarayana Rao
1976 Naa Madhi Ninnu Pilichindi Aradhana Saluri Hanumantha Rao
1977 Chithram Bhalaare Vichitram Dana Veera Soora Karna Pendyala Nageswara Rao
1978 Sipaayi O Sipaayi Akbar Salim Anarkali C. Ramchandra


Reddy won several awards for his literary work which includes the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1973 for his poetry collection Mantalu Manavudu, the Jnanpith Award for Viswambhara in 1988 and was conferred with the Sahitya Academy fellowship in 2014, the highest honour of the Sahitya Academy, India's National Academy of Letters. Reddy was also awarded an honorary Kala Prapoorna by Andhra University in 1978, the Soviet Land Nehru award in 1982, and the Raja-Lakshmi Award by the Sri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation in 1988, "Visishta Puraskaram" of the Potti Sriramulu Telugu University in 2011. The Government of India honored him with the fourth and third highest civilian awards, Padma Shri (1977) and Padma Bhushan (1992).

He also won the Nandi Award for Best Lyricist twice for the song "Kantene Amma Ani Ante Ela?" from the movie Preminchu (2001) and "Idigo Raayalaseema Gadda" from the movie Seetayya (2003).


Reddy developed health complication and complained of chest pain and was shifted to the Care Hospital. He died on 12 June 2017 at the age of 85.

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