Though P.Leela is a playback singer with Malayalam as mother tongue, she sang some amazing songs in Telugu. She is a classical singer, who also gave performances. Many a times she expressed her gratitude towards Ghantasala and regarded him as her guru, as he helped for her in learning Telugu and taught her to sing accordingly for films.
Infact, Leela sang many songs composed by Ghantasala and one such song is from the movie “Pandava Vanavaasam”. The song is featured in an important sequence where Draupadi is insulted by Dussasana in the presence of King’s court. Savitri was casted for the role of Draupadi and playback singers used to take it like a great chance to sing for her. There were many hit songs in the combination of Savitri and P.Leela too. But for this particular song, Leela had to modulate her voice to suit the on screen Draupadi pleading “Deva Deena Bandhava...Asahayurala Kaavara” for Lord Krishna’s help. This song was penned by Samudrala Senior. Ghantasala gave a great tune for the song and taught it to Leela.
P.Leela being adept in Telugu and singing as well, could understand the underlying emotion and meaning behind the song and sang brilliantly. As the song moves to crescendo, she had to sing even more pleadingly in high pitch. At that precise moment, Leela got so involved in the song and the character for which she was singing that she forgot her surroundings and felt the character of Draupadi getting into her soul. During that time, she sang in highest pitch and lost her consciousness by falling down in the studio. She couldn’t come back to normal till an hour time.
Do listen to that particular song in Pandava Vanavaasam. P.Leela’s involvement and emotion will surely touch your hearts!!