Noted poet Dr Rallabandi Kavita Prasad pens `Avadhana Vidya - Arambha Vikasalu.'

Avadhanam, quite an entertaining literary feat, is special for Telugu literature. It needs Dhara (extempore), Dharana (memory), Dhairyam (Courage) and Dhorani (style). And the verses should be set to the specific poetic metre, which is called Chandassu. The Chandassu is different to different kinds of verses. These days you hardly come across persons involved in chaste verse writing. Most of the poets stick to free verse. For that matter the chaste verse is a specialty of Telugu language. Sardoolam, Mattebham, Seesam, Ataveladi, Tetageethi and so on are the names of certain poetic metres. From Nannaya to Tirupati Venkatakavulu to Viswanatha Satyanarayana - all poets specialised in the art of writing poetry. Doing an avadhanam is a special art, restricted to only a few poets. Twin poets Tirupati Venkatakavulu became well known to render verses extempore who popularised this poetic art form. The most difficult avadhanam is Ashtavadhanam, for the very reason that the performing avadhani has to reply to all the riddles posed by eight Pruchakas (questioners), in verse form. If the poet fails in composing them on the spot, he is unfit. The verse they render, should also be rich in content that can go into a textbook. Only then the avadhani gains that supremacy in the art. Dr. Rallabandi Kavita Prasad is one among them.

The making of the book

It appears that he was asked by one of the elderly poets to write a book on this art form, in the form of a guide forthe present generation of poets, interested in doing avadhanam. Kavita Prasad produced one with 568 pages, which is now considered as a masterpiece titled Avadhana Vidya - Arambha Vikasalu. The book was released last week, by Dr.C.Narayana Reddy, at the Thyagaraya Gana Sabha. Never was the auditorium packed with so many poets, who did not leave the hall till the end. Many of them were well-known poets. The function was presided over by the former vice-chancellor of Telugu University, Prof. N.Gopi, who is a popular poet himself.Dr. Kavita Prasad has performed more than 500 avadhanas at various cultural and literary centres. These included Dwi-Satavadhanas, with two hundred Pruchakas, who were to be answered by the avadhani extempore, in verse form, memorising all the questions these persons asked on different subjects. The function was organised by a literary forum of Warangal - Sahrudaya. All the speakers, who took part in the book release function, commended the book and its author in one voice for giving a most authentic work. Prof. Bethavolu Ramabrahmam, well known poet and critic said that Kavita Prasad, being an avadhani himself, had the needed qualities of an author who had the mental equipment in shaping this work as most authentic and stylish. Dr.Prasad had also included certain important information, that many avadhanis did not know, said Bethavolu. This work was also scrutinised by another senior avadhani Rapaka Ekambaracharyulu and Prof. M.Chennappa, who praised Kavita Prasad for turning out a great work, which he dedicated to his mother, Vardhanamma. G.S