Flag of fame unfurled

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OCCASION The eighth annual celebration in memory of Kannadasan was a treat for his loyalists. MALATHI RANGARAJAN

IN THE NAME OF KANNADASAN: Awardees M.N. Narayanan and ‘Vanathi' Ramanathan flanked by (left) K. Viswanathan, MSV, M. Saravanan; (right) Nalli Kuppuswami and Bharathi Bhaskar PHOTO: K. PICHUMANI
IN THE NAME OF KANNADASAN: Awardees M.N. Narayanan and ‘Vanathi' Ramanathan flanked by (left) K. Viswanathan, MSV, M. Saravanan; (right) Nalli Kuppuswami and Bharathi Bhaskar PHOTO: K. PICHUMANI

“L isten to the creations of the Kannadasan-MSV combo and you will remain forever young” -- Bharathi Bhaskar's words during her effervescent special address on the eminent verse writer, at the eighth annual Kannadasan Festival organised by the Kannadasan-Viswanathan Trust, at Kumararaja Muthiah Hall, this past weekend, had several such profundities. Those who thrive on the energy that the evergreen numbers of the duo offer even after decades cannot but agree.

Be they words for a jilted lover or the ardent romantic, a misogynist or a philogynist, an atheist or a theist, the poet's felicity was incomparable. High philosophy, deep devotion, diehard optimism all these and more were deftly handled in his film lyrics, poetic works and literary and religious treatises. As Bharathi pointed out, the sheer beauty of his words and the simplicity with which he espoused great thoughts have made him a poet nonpareil!

“Take, for instance, the lyrics in the film, ‘Karnan.' ‘Aayiram Karangal Neeti Anaikindra Thaaye Pottri,' a song venerating the greatness of the Sun God is as strong and profound as a sloka in ‘Aditya Hridayam' itself. Who has ever deified the Sun as a mother, as Kannadasan has done in this song? None before him and none later,” she said, and went on to Kannadasan's justification of the same in the very next lines.

Presentation matters

‘Krishna Gaanam,' an album from Kannadasan and MSV, exemplifies the fact if presented appealingly devotionals can transcend dogmas and insular beliefs. Bharathi vociferously emphasised the view. Her observation that ordinary heroes and heroines were transformed into literary greats because of the ideas that Kannadasan's lyrics echoed, went down well with the audience. Armed with in-depth material on Kannadasan, the right timbre, and expressions she made her monologue memorable.

Earlier, Dr. Meena Muthiah lighted the lamp to mark the beginning of the festive evening. Aadhavan's anchoring was crisp and M.S. Viswanathan's welcome note, pithy. M. Saravanan of AVM and Nalli Kuppuswami were among the distinguished invitees on the dais.

Publisher Vanathi Thirunavukkarasu and organiser of MSV's orchestra M.N. Narayanan were the recipients of this year's Kaviarasar Awards. Director S. P. Muthuraman introduced the awardees throwing light on their life and work, and in typical style cajoled the audience into clapping louder for the two illustrious men. As Thirunavukkarasu was unwell, Ramanathan, his son, received the award on his father's behalf. Nrityadarshan Dance Academy's programme of Kannadasan songs in dance formed the concluding part of the show.

K. Viswanathan, founder and chancellor, VIT, Vellore, who did the honours, spoke of his association with Kannadasan. “His uncanny vision was astounding. He announced in a 10 line-poem written 35 years ago about the catastrophe that awaited mankind, which does not care enough for the environment! His predictions are a reality today,” said Viswanathan. However, the talk took a political slant when he touched upon corruption in today's scenario.

Kannadasan, the inimitable poet and lyricist, will live forever -- the packed hall was yet another reiteration!



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