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Nandi Natakothsavalu off to a colourful start in Tirupati

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WORTHY HONOUR: Peesapati Narasimha Murthy, veteran theatre artiste, and his wife being felicitated during inauguration of 'Nandi Natakotsavalu' at Tirupati on Monday.
WORTHY HONOUR: Peesapati Narasimha Murthy, veteran theatre artiste, and his wife being felicitated during inauguration of 'Nandi Natakotsavalu' at Tirupati on Monday.

Special Correspondent

Veteran artiste laments neglect of theatre art form

TIRUPATI: The eight-day Nandi Natakothsavalu-2005 got off to an enthusiastic start with veteran theatre artist Peesapati Narasimha Murthy formally launching the cultural extravaganza by lighting the traditional lamp amid chanting of Vedic hymns.

In his brief address laced with humour and sarcasm over the perversions plaguing the big as well as small screen, Peesapati could hardly conceal his displeasure over even the Government relegating 'Nataka Rangam' to the end in the name it has given to its 'Rashtra Chalanachithra, TV and Nataka Ranga Abhivriddhi Samstha' (State Film, TV and Theatre Development Corporation) while in reality it should precede both film and television worlds.

He lamented the plight of the theatre and hapless artistes who stuck to it despite all odds and recalled how the oldest form of art was used in days of yore as the medium for spreading devotion and perpetuating ancient schools of thought, values, heritage and culture.

In sharp contrast contemporary films and the television introduce needless commercial ingredients for obvious reasons, he said. He also did not agree with those who attributed the decay in the film and TV fields to the effect of time and said that the defect lay not in time but in our own mindset, meaning both the producers and viewers.

Supreme form

Describing drama as the supreme form of literature, Peesapathi said even Kalidasa shot to fame only after he penned his magnum opus poetic dramas like 'Megha Sandesam', 'Abhignana Shakunthalamu' etc.

Executive Officer of Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams, A.P.V.N. Sarma expressed pleasure over the TTD associating itself with the drama festival and said it was the legitimate duty of the TTD to preserve and promote mythological and poetic dramas, which spread the spirit of devotion especially among the masses.

Managing Director of Andhra Pradesh Film, TV and Theatre Development Corporation welcoming the guests said that it was for the second time that the Corporation was conducting the fete outside Hyderabad. The Government was keen on breathing some fresh life into the field of theatre. Among other speakers were Tirupati MLA M. Venkatramana, TUDA Chairperson B. Karunakar Reddy, Municipal Chairperson K. Sankar Reddy and district MLAs R. Chenga Reddy and Kuthulamma who underscored the need to transform Tirupati into the cultural hub of Andhra Pradesh using its built-in spiritual ambience.

The start of the inaugural ceremony was marked by the group rendition of the customary 'Parabrahma Parameswara...' by all the artistes in their costumes. Peesapati and his wife were felicitated on the occasion.

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