Sivaraju Venkata Subbarao

Sivaraju Venkata Subbarao

Butchi Babu (Telugu: బుచ్చిబాబు) (1916–1967) was the pen name of an eminent Telugu short story writer, novelist and painter. His real name was Sivaraju Venkata Subbarao.


Early life

Butchi Babu was born in 1916 at Eluru. He initially served as an English lecturer in Anantapur and Vizag. He also served in the All India Radio (AIR) from 1945 till his death in 1967. He did masters degree (M.A.) in English literature.

Chivaraku Migiledi

The Novel Chivaraku Migiledi is Butchibabu's most famous work. The protagonist's quest involves him in a conflict with society and results in an agonizing reappraisal of life's values and finally leads him to self knowledge, acceptance and peace.

Chivaraku Migiledi was serialized in the Telugu magazine Navodaya between 1946-47. It was published in book form in 1952. Chivaraku Migiledi published by Adarsha Grandha Mandali in 1957 became a best seller. The book is now published by Visalaandhra Publishing House, Hyderabad.

Katyayani Vidmahe did extensive research on the novel in Chivaraku Migiledi - Manasika Samajika Jeevana Sravanti Navala Vimarsa (Kakateeya University, Warangal, India) and was awarded a doctorate (PhD) for it. The Novel has been translated into English by Kakani Chakrapani in Four Classics of Telugu Fiction (Dravidian University, Kuppam, India)

This novel is made into Telugu film by Gutha Ramineedu in 1960.[1] Savitri acted as Padma got National Film Award for Best Actress. It is a debut film for M. Prabhakar Reddy.


ButchiBabu was a prolific short story writer. Some of his well known short stories include Nannu Gurinchi Kadha Vrayavoo? (Won't you write a story about me ?) and Ame Needa (Her shadow). Some of the other famous stories include Maratunana marapu raru, Tadi mantaku podineellu, Kaviraja virajitam, Desam Nakichina Sandesam, Nosantan Vrasina vrata, Intayina into aidu, Vudina chakram-vaadani pushpam, Naa gajumeda.

70 of his stories were published as seven volumes with following titles:

  • Meda metlu,
  • Nannu Gurinchi Kadhavrayavu,
  • Kalalo jarina kanneru,
  • Nirantara Trayam,
  • Teerpu Cheshina vadike Siksha,
  • Tadi mantaku podi neeluu,
  • Jnana netram.


ButchiBabu wrote some of finest essays in Telugu like Nannu Marchina Pustakam (The Book That Changed Me), Neenu Shankarnarayan Nighantuvu (Me and Shankar Nararayan Dictionary). A collection of his essays has been published by Visalaandhra Publishing House, Hyderabad

Radio plays and stage dramas

Butchi Babu wrote several radio plays, stage dramas. Noted film personalities like Savitri and Pundarikakshayya acted in his stage dramas like Atma Vanchana.


Butchi Babu was a prolific painter. Most of his paintings are landscapes. The paintings were inspired by what was around him and depict the country side of Southern India in 1940-1960. The painting included below shows All India Radio Office in Vijayawada in 1955.


Butchi Babu's Shakespeare Sahiti Paramarsa (A Critique on Shakespeare's literature) won him the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award (awarded posthumously).

In a competition arranged by Andhra Kala Parishath, Kakinada, ButchiBabu received the best drama award from Prithviraj Kapoor for his drama Atma Vanchana.

Selected references

[1] Sahitya Akademi Books: (1) Encyclopaedia of Indian literature vol. 1 Edited by Amaresh Dutta, (2) A History Of Indian Literature 1911-1956 By Sisir Kumar Das, (3) Gold Nuggets: Selected Post-independence Telugu Short Stories by Bhadriraju Krishnamurti, C.Vijayasree,.

[2] Digital South Asia Library - Story Desam Nakichhina Sandesam.

Telugu literature Telugu Literature Wiki

[3] Penguin Books India: Classic Telugu Short Stories edited by Ranga Rao

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