Sagara Sangamam- Masterpiece in Every Respect- Part 3

The previous post on the same film has seen the beginning of one of the greatest relationships shown in Telugu Cinema- that of Balu and Madhavi.  Right from the first frame in which they come together, K.Vishwanath took utmost care in showing the exact feeling of mutual amazement and respect they have for each other, more than anything else! We get to see the short yet sweet meetings of Balu-Madhavi yet again in a wedding for which Balu’s mother does the cooking work. That is the time Madhavi watches Balu’s dancing talent in a full fledged way in the kitchens, while a popular dancer Manju Bhargavi performs for “Balakanakamaya” , a famous carnatic composition.

Watch the same here in the video link below, where how beautifully K.Vishwanath portrayed Balu’s passion for dance, yet no proper stage to perform due to the economic conditions.

Cut to the next scene, Balu comes to Madhavi’s house to request one photo of him taken by her so that he can send it to his mother, in a very hesitant manner. We get to see Madhavi’s concern and the goodwill she has for Balu in just this one scene- where she not only gives one photograph, but a set of photographs where she captures Balu with his mother and some memorable moments as well.

Balu feels very thankful for the help Madhavi did for him, but the simplicity of the latter makes him feel more amazed towards her. There is a very beautiful scene here, in which Madhavi requests Balu to take a Photograph with her, using self-timer option in her camera.  Balu, unaware of how to use the self-timer option, asks Madhavi to explain the same. The way she explains about Self-Timer option and hurries off to pose for the photograph looks really funny as well as very meaningful in the same frame. This shows the perfect chemistry between Balu-Madhavi not only as a pair but also as two artistically inclined people together!

While setting the self-timer, Balu casually says “Mee Pakkana Naakkooda koncham Chotu ivvandi!” (Please give me some space beside you!) and as he clicks the timer and rushes off, the camera takes the picture in the mid-way itself. This is a symbolical depiction of what would happen to the relationship between Balu-Madhavi in coming scenes.

This sort of symbolic premonition is even seen in the masterpiece Devadas, where Devadas presents a necklace to Parvathi and the necklace falls down, while the former adorns the latter with the same.

A very special mention for the Camera work as well as the breathtaking background score by Maestro ILaiyaraaja, the music is so amazing that we feel a single musical note can speak mountains about a scene!

The movie progresses at a relaxing pace where Madhavi realizes the brilliant talent Balu has in dance and his economic conditions too.  She then takes a step which would look very normal for her, but it almost surprises Balu to the core and even begins something more than admiration for Balu in return.

K.Vishwanath garu shows the same in a very enthralling manner where a very casual conversation can turn into a life turning scene for a person!

Scene 3: Dance Festival Invitation

I would rather not explain word-by-word dialogues for this sequence because, the expressions mean a lot, rather than the words spoken by the characters! Hence I would like to just write a gist of what happens in the scene, and leave the scene for the viewer instead!

Madhavi and Balu starts off for a walk in the park and after getting tired, they settle down at lawns in conversation about All India Dance Festival. Madhavi leisurely asks what does Balu know about that festival. The scene looks so mesmerizing that we just see two art-lovers having a Very normal talk on a late evening! The topic of Dance festival makes Balu so happy that he goes on talking about it, saying people like us can’t even go for such internationally acclaimed event.  Madhavi then says she has few invitations with her this time and Balu can happily attend the event.

By saying so, she hands over the invitation card to Balu. He starts of seeing all great personalities’ names in the performances list and says this time all great exponents of dance are arriving for the event.  The final page of the invitation comes as a shock to not only Balu but also to the audience.  He is utterly shocked to see his own name printed in the invitation. Madhavi, who drifts near him in order to see the invitation says very simply “Eeyena kooda chala peddha dance ne” (Even this person is a great dancer!).

At this point we start feeling how can anybody be so caring and considerate as Madhavi can be. Whether it is her down-to-earth nature, or the dignity she has, and tremendous love for Arts, or the consideration for Balu- we don’t know. But how many in a scale of hundred can think of doing such a great help to a fellow artist with troubles?

Balu gets so shocked and tremendously happy that he starts off crying aloud. The scene turns heart wrenching as so many emotions- Happiness, thankfulness towards Madhavi, Shock and sadness for not able to get such opportunity with his efforts and the list is countless!

Watch the scene below from 6:20 for path breaking performances by Kamal Hasan and Jayaprada, along with out-of-the-world Background score by Maestro ILaiyaraja.

And watch the top-notch performance of Kamal Hasan as dancer Balu in Naada Vinodamu song!

After a wonderful practice session of Balu with Madhavi for the programme in the form of the above song, Balu’s fate takes a saddening turn now. His mother, who was the first source of Support for him, gets fatally ill and his dance stops the moment she is no more in this World.  Though we feel utterly saddened by this incident, we try to gain some solace as Madhavi is still there with Balu to get him back to normal.

Balu feels quite lonely after losing his mother and finds himself getting more close with Madhavi in return. At one scene while going in car with Madhavi, he even asks her whether she will be always with him. It shows his lack of belief in him and the wrong-doings of fate in his life. But Madhavi replies positively saying she will definitely be with him. Despite Madhavi saying so, Balu has his own doubts about it, and confirms again by calling her at home.Coming to an obvious conclusion, Balu proposes Madhavi and says he would like to marry her.

Madhavi  does not respond immediately to Balu but through the song Mounamelanoyi (A brilliant marvel from lyricist Veturi and Maestro ILaiyaraaja) we get to know she also likes Balu very much. The subtle feelings and the tender emotions were brilliantly portrayed by Vishwanath garu.

We start feeling something happy is going to happen to Balu finally, a shocking news comes out from Madhavi’s father saying she was already married to a person but due to some financial disagreements, the wedding was a failure. The scene which comes next is Balu dancing agitated in the seashore, and Madhavi seeing his anguish.  Madhavi thinks of all the great times she has with Balu and decides to break all the rules which were binding her and comes hurryingly towards him.

But Balu advises Madhavi to get back to her husband after meeting the latter out of coincidence. He says that in that way everyone would be happy and she would have a better life that way.

Balu bids a very emotional farewell to Madhavi and her husband at railway station, after taking a photograph of them and by that, the flashback ends at a very sad note.

Now,  the situations turn in such a way that, Madhavi gets very upset seeing the detoriating health condition of the old Balu with her own eyes. She decides to put her daughter Shailaja as student to Balu.

As Madhavi is a widow now, she feels the news would shatter Balu more and decides to do all this from the background.  After calling Balu and arranging for his stay in Madhavi’s house, she comes to know Balu gets totally drunk from her funny servant  Sivayya (Played by Potti Prasad), we get to see how an artist turns out once ruined by excess drinking and bad health condition through the song  “Thakita Thadhimi”- where Balu dances near the well, unaware of what danger he is in.

Madhavi watches all this from behind and gets tensed as the song progresses by, seeing the carelessness of Balu and the danger he is posing to himself. She could either come to rescue him owing to her present condition or could stay put seeing such things happening to Balu. As the song goes to climax, Madhavi decides to appear in front of Balu not as widow but as a happy person (To ease up Balu).

The scene when Balu and Madhavi meet again here is something to explain beyond Words!We get to see the inexplicable shock in Balu’s eyes to see Madhavi again and he goes off inside with her, leaving the alcohol bottle near the well (Again a symbolic brilliance by K.Vishwanath). As its raining and the sindhoor put by Madhavi beings to melt, the immidiate reaction of Balu is to cover it with his hands. This is another wonderful depiction of the Indian Cultural values shown breathtakingly by Vishwanath again!

Watch the brilliant song which turns out many characters in the film- upside down!

The presence of Madhavi transforms Balu back to his normal self, and just as he gets happy with it, he comes to know that Madhavi has become a widow (Quite dramatically). Though he gets utterly depressed, physically as well as mentally, he decides firmly on one thing- To keep the Art in him immortal. It can be done only by teaching his only student now- Shailaja.

The film comes to a crucial climax where Balu’s health gets detoriated but he is still determined to teach Shailaja for a dance performance. The song which arrives now is  “Vedam Anuvanuvuna Naadam”, which shows the pain and anguish which Balu goes throughout his life, and the zeal to make his talent immortal. Shailaja, being her obvious self doesn’t respect Balu’s intentions initially, but realizes at the performance day when Balu gives an emotional speech saying Madhavi is a goddess who transformed his life, and made him realize his real motive.

The song ends with transformed Shailaja as a dancer, and happiest Balu to do the same, and ultimately- the death of Balu (Just physically but not as soul!).

Madhavi and Raghupathi realize this during the performance is going on, and take him away in wheelchair with umbrella to cover his body from rain..and the following words appear on screen

“No End to Art..”

Though the film Sagara Sangamam has some sad notes, the eternity and the brilliant way in which Arts were depicted made the film Eternal in every respect..


Marapuraani Chitralu remembers Sagara Sangamam- not only as a film but also as a life teaching experience, about how dedicated one should treat Arts, along with giving importance to great relationships which we have in life..


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