Music legend `Bharatratna’ M.S. Subbulakshmi is connected to the City of Destiny through many. Former Minister Bhattam Sriramamurthy, when he was looking after cultural affairs, made her Aasthana Vidwan (State singer) of Andhra Pradesh when her husband Sadasivam came up with a request that she be made a singer of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD).

Vizagites can be proud of one more stalwart who acted as her guru for a while, deputed by the State Government.

`Sangeeta Kalanidhi’ Nedunuri Krishna Murthy is a pioneer in composing music for Annamacharya kirtans, having done the work for over 150 songs. When MSS wanted to learn singing of Annamayya kritis which are also in Telugu like the kirtans of Ramadasu and Tyagaraja, he was deputed by the State Government which he was serving, to Chennai to teach her.

“I said there was nothing I could teach her as she was a world famous singer. But MSS was keen on learning from me. She practised and sang four songs—Narayanathe namo namo…, Cheri Yasoda…, Bhavamulona…, and Okapari Okapari…,” recalls Prof. Nedunuri.

Spreading the word

The Red Ribbon Express, an exhibition on rails to create awareness about HIV and AIDS and instil confidence in those affected by the disease, is informative and one should appreciate the way the message has been conveyed through the exhibits. Counselling sessions were also held for the needy.

It is also being noticed that the HIV positive people are increasingly shedding the fear and coming out open.

There are a few who participated in the inaugural function and about 200 women attended a day-long programme held on the occasion of the World AIDS Day.

The efforts being made by the Government and the NGOs seems to be showing results.

However, the threat of the disease spreading through drug addiction (injection variety) is looming large, according to officials and Visakhapatnam is more prone to this problem. This situation warrants parents in the city to keep a close watch on their grown-up children.

The officials say the number of such drug addicts is yet to be officially decided but it is more than 2,000. When the officials sound a warning it is the duty of parents to do their bit.

The change in lifestyle thanks to globalisation is one reason for this as the young and rich blindly copy the western culture.

Prabhakkar Sharma and G. Narasimha Rao.