Adibhatla Narayana Das was called the ‘Harikatha pitamaha’ of his times.
Srimadajjada Adibhatla Narayana Dasa Kadha Gana Kala Parishat organised an ‘evening of appreciation’ of legendary ‘Harikatha Pitamaha’ Adibhatla Narayana Das’ ‘Vaggeya Vybhavam’, at Thyagaraya to mark his 144th birth anniversary. Compeered and presented by Samavedam Shanmukha Sarma it was aimed at projecting the late Adibhatla as one who carved out the Harikatha mode from the Yakshaganas and also was a great composer (vaggeyakara).
Narayanadas was a versatile genius with a mastery over several Indian and foreign languages . Narayana Das used the prefix ‘Ajjada’ to his surname, which was his birthplace. He combined ‘Adhyatmikata and Samajikata’ (spiritual and social aspects) in his rendition. He was equally good in writing in ‘accha Telugu’ (Telugu sans any influence of Sanskrit). Vocalists Indira Kameswara Rao and Duddu Radhika rendered a few Dasu compositions, that proved as effective and rich in content. Kanikaramuna in ‘Hamsadhwani’ in praise of Vinayaka, opened the concert. Maanasama Neevu Maruvakave in ‘Suddhasaveri’ from Adibhatla’s harikatha ‘Janaki Sapatham’, was rich in poetic content. Shanmukha Sarma was giving out the salient features in poetic expression of Dasu in the kriti part, which was quite informative. Neepadambu daakinanta in ‘Kedara Gowla’, depicted a sequence from ‘Sita Kalyanam’, describing Ahalya’s ‘shaapa vimochanam’ scene, written in verse form. Kannavarenta dhanyulo was a literary treat, that described the charm of Lord Rama. The vocalist duo, supported by their young disciples K.Akhila and U. Hiranmayi, rendered some more compositions from Adibhatla’s famous works ‘Rukmini Kalyanam’, ’Srirama Paduka Pattabhishekamu’ and ‘Hanumat Sandesam’ . O. Rajasekhar was on violin and G. Ramachander on mridangam. It would have been better to if a single vocalist was made to sing these unfamiliar kritis so as to retain the lyrical sweetness with clarity, rather than a group rendition.G.S.