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Poet and a revolutionary

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Rich production A scene from the play.
Rich production A scene from the play.

GUDIPOODI SRIHARI

A play on Tarigonda Vengamamba was staged recently.

It was a huge cast, which included professionals and amateurs.

The most popular female artiste of the Surabhi group, Jamuna Rayalu and her 40- member team of thespians, some chosen from outside the Surabhi fold, staged a play based on Tarigonda Vengamamba. This theatre production, titled as Matrusri Tarigonda Vengamamba, staged at Thyagaraya Gana Sabha was well received. Rasaranjani organised this play on two consecutive evenings at this venue.

Title role

Jamuna Rayalu, a wonderful singer and actor, donned the title role of Vengamamba. She also directed the production. The theme depicts the events that took place in the 15th century in Tarigonda, a small village in Chittoor district. Vengamamba is a poet and a revolutionary too. She imagines Lord Narasimha as her husband. But she is married off to a young man, who dies of a disease. When people try to conduct the dreary ritual of making her a widow she protests and rebels and launches a tirade against people who wrongly interpret religion and society.

Vengamamba claims the status of ‘pativrata’ and attacks the orthodoxy in her writings. After it is declared that she got married to Lord Venkateswara in Gandharva style, even persons like Pushpagiri Yogeendra surrender to her wisdom. She begins writing Satakas, Dwipadas, Chenchu Bhgavatas, plays and other forms of literary works.

It was a surprise to know that the script writer P.V.N. Krishna is a police constable by profession and an eminent scholar in Telugu and Sanskrit. Though he used a few verses and songs from the original texts of Tarigonda Vengamamba, he added his own poems too.

The play ended showing Vengamamba getting into ‘Samadhi’ after spending her last days as a devotee of Lord Narasimha and Lord Venkateswara.

It was a huge cast, which included professionals and amateurs. Jamuna played the title character. As Vengamamba’s story opens from childhood, two other little girls were brought in to play child Vengamamba. Lord Srinivasa’s role was played by Thangirala Raghava Sarma.

The character of Hanumanthappa was played by T. Balagangadhara Rao. Komaravolu Srinivara Rao was Narada. Srinivasu played Atmaram Hanumanthu. P.Vijaykumar, Babu Rao, M.K.N. Saayana and others played their parts well.

Initially, the first production was sponsored by TTD. Now, again it is going to be staged at Tirupati in a few days. Loaded with rich production techniques and and histrionics, the production needs more sponsors.


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