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Updated: March 7, 2013 20:53 IST

Thrilling presentation

Gudipoodi Srihari
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Uma Maheswari
Uma Maheswari

Ummaheswari’s rendition with Vedantic elements elevated the standard of ‘Sugreeva Vijayam’.

Kandukuri Rudra Kavi’s Yakshaganam, ‘Sugreeva Vijayam, said to be the first Yakshagana ever written, was converted into Harikatha format by Rajasekharuni Lakshmipathi Rao, a great Harikatha Guru, retaining the intensity of the drama. He taught this to his students including Umamaheswari, famous for being the sole artiste in the country who can present Harikatha in Sanskrit. Sugreeva Vijayam featured in Harikatha Mahotsavam, held by Kinnera Art Theatres with the support of the state government and the South Zone cultural centre. Sugreeva Vijayam forms part of Kishkindha Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana. Umamaheswari elevated the standard by interjecting Vedantic elements here and there and her narration in song, verse and prose was very engaging. It was informative too narrating some unfamiliar sequences, in great detail like why Sugreeva made the mountain Rishyamukhadri his hiding place as Vali would never dare to step on the hill, due to as a curse that prohibits him to visit the place, lest he will die. The narrative also included Uma’s explanation of why Sita dropped her ornaments in Sugreeva’s land.

Uma’s narration commenced from Sita’s abduction by Ravana and the brothers Rama and Lakshmana scanning the forest to find her. The brothers are guided to Kishkindha by a demon Kabandha who regained his earlier form of Gandharva just by touching Rama.There, Rama learns from Anjaneya what made brothers Vali and Sugreeva enemies. The rest of the narrative deals with how Srirama kills Vali and crowns Sugreeva as king of Kishkindha. Umamaheswari’s narration gained momentum in these parts and made it a real climactic presentation. Later Umamaheswari was felicitated.

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