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Metro cultural round-up

The valedictory session of the three-day fete of fine arts organised at VUDA Children's Theatre under the aegis of Sanatana Dharma Charitable Trust, founded by Sadguru K. Sivananda Murthy of Anandavanam (Bhimili), recently got off to a grand start with the `guru satkara sabha' - an annual observance of an obligation on Gurupournami, which in turn has been an ensign of the age-old tradition of Sanatana Dharma.

The renowned educationist and an exemplary follower and crusader of the ethos and ethics of the Hindu culture evolved out of Aarsha Vignanam, Pilla Rama Rao, who is the founder-member of the Bharatiya Vidya Kendram and former principal of the BVK College and Chairman of the Vidwath Parishad of the State unit of Vidya Bharati, was the choice for the honour.

Offering the satkaram to Mr. Rama Rao, the Sadguru said: "It is a tribute to the immense potential of the fervour of a true patriotic educationist and the missionary zeal with which he made use of it in the form of kinetic dynamism. He still keeps himself fit at the age of 78 and continues to put his heart and soul serving the noble cause and deserve much higher honours."

As a precursor to the festival, the auditorium in the serene precincts of the Anandavanam at Bhimili witnessed a book releasing and felicitation function. Thanks to the all-out encouragement munificently extended by the Sadguru, the Vakati Trust published a book "Vennela Vaana", an anthology of 15 short stories scripted over a period of six years at a very young age (1957-63) by the renowned writer and critic, the late Vakati Panduranga Rao, and was released on the occasion.

Vakati's style and the simple idiom gently but empathetically tickle the subtle vibrations of the hearts of the readers. Rao was a Deputy Director in Visakhapatnam Port Trust for some time and was a chosen associate of the editorial boards of `Newstime', `Andhra Prabha', `Telugu Swatantra', documentaries and features produced by Doordarshan and AIR, besides being a guest teacher dealing a few courses in journalism. About 300 of his literary works, mostly short stories and novels, including translations from Telugu into Russian, English, Punjabi and Hindi and vice versa, were published during his life time. He was the editor of `Katha Bharathi' of the National Book Trust and the Indian Council of Cultural Relations' publications. The book comprised select stories in Telugu translated from all the Indian languages. No wonder, he bagged many a laurel, Telugu University Ugadi Puraskar (1987), Rajiv Ratna Best Journalist Award,

Presidential Pratibha Puraskar, Eminent Citizen Award of the Sanathana Dharma Trust, etc.

Vakati's daughter, Apara, gave a brief account of the contents of `Vennela Vaana', a fully justified title as the stories delight the readers as much as the soothing showers of illumination of a full moon lit night. His son, Chaitanya, proposed a vote of thanks.

The annual talent award of Sri Vijaya Thyagaraja Sangeetha Sabha, a gold medal instituted by its secretary, Bhaskara Murthy in memory of his father Durvasula Bhagavanulu, was presented by the Sadguru to the young but highly potential mridangam artiste, Y.P.S. Madhubabu. He was doubly fortunate that his guru, the mridangam maestro, V. Kamalakara Rao, was the guest of honour.

The annual awards, instituted in memory of Lanka Sivarama Krishna Sastry (professor in the Andhra University Department of English), a cultural renaissance man, especially music of which he was an esteemed connoisseur and popularly known as 'LSRK' in friends circle, were also given away by the Sadguru. Established and managed by his son, L.V. Subrahmanyam and daughter Lakshmi Prabha, the Pratibha Puraskar went in favour of the well-known vocal vidhushimani, reputed guru, former principal of Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu Kalakshetram, Sishtla Vasundhara Devi, this year. Young but noted mridangam player, Chaitanya Ramesh, son of reputed sangeetha vidwan, Kotipalli S. Prakash Rao, was the choice for the LSRK young talent award.

The function concluded on a sublime note with an absorbing vocal recital by the septuagenarian exponent of Carnatic music, K. Chandramouli, who had the fortune of being a disciple of the vocal maestro, Vinjamuri Varadaraja Ayyangar, and retired as principal of the Music College at Kurnool. Accompanied by veteran vidwans Kokkonda Subrahmanya Sarma on the violin and V. Kamalakara Rao on the mridangam, Chandramouli rendered rarely heard compositions `Mahaganapathi' in Natanarayani, `Peridi' in Kharaharapriya, `Vinave' in Khamas, `Raaraa Raghurama' in Athana) adorned with brief but beautiful alapana and swaram. An adept ragam-tanam-pallavi piece in Todi in praise of the Sadguru was the fitting finale.

Over all, it left an impression of being a soulful demonstration of an effort that marked the sublimity in the tradition of the exposition of Carnatic music by vidwans of the yore, now jeered out in the name of modernity.

Sadguru Sivananda Murthy blessed the artistes and presented mementos.


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