National » Andhra Pradesh

Updated: May 15, 2014 23:23 IST

‘Kommadasulu’ losing their humour

B. V. S. Bhaskar
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The Hindu

The community ekes out a living by entertaining villagers during Sankranti festival, by singing songs laced with humour and satire

‘Gusai’ community is a nomadic community in Godavari districts which is loosing its pride and glory. It is popular as “Kommadasulu” and it ekes out the living by entertaining villagers during Sankranti festival season by singing songs full of humour and satire.

Daram Venkatesu, Maddali Suribabu left their native places -- Palakollu in West Godavari district and Jyothinagar near Tuni -- about ten days ago in search of livelihood. They were seen in Tilak Road in the attire of a ‘clown’. Venkatesu, while singing lyrics laced with humour said “Dear sister…please come out, your brother has come. We brought a bike which can run on just air. And we also brought a waistband to my nephew made with straws….”

Suribabu went to another house to entertain with another poem in the local dialect. Many passers-by stopped their vehicles to have a glimpse and some dropped a coin or two.

While narrating their plight, the middle-aged artists explained about their antecedents with a shade of sadness. Almost all the villages were dotted with “Kommadasulu” from January 1 to 15 (Sankaranti) along with Haridasulu, Gangireddulu, Jangama Devaralu and others.

With televisions dominating the households even in villages, the community lost its past glory and also its livelihood. “We are standing in front of every gate and shouting at least for 20 minutes asking them to watch our entertaining act. But, they are not interested,” says Venkatesu and Suribabu.

Unfortunately, the State Information Department, which is looking after the welfare of artists, has completely ignored the community.

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