Friday Review

Marathon celebration of Avadhanam

In a first-ever effort of its kind in north coastal Andhra, an Avadhana Saptaham, a week-long celebrations of Ashtavadhanams was a big draw at Kalabharati, Visakhapatnam. Avadhanam, a cerebral exercise that originated during the hoary Vedic times has evolved over ages to become a literary feat in Sanskrit. It has since evolved into a distinct genre in its entire imaginative exuberance in the Telugu literary firmament. Redoubtable savant and the first ever Avadhani in Telugu, Madabhushi Venkatacharyulu formulated its template way back in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. He gave it a detailed structure and listed its salient features like Dattapadi, Samasya, Nishiddakshari etc. Later, it did not remain confined toan octave template of Ashtavadhanam, involving eight questioners known as Pruschakas. This genre burgeoned manifold as Sathavadhanam, Dwisathavadhanam and Sahasravadhanam involving 100, 200 and 1000 questioners respectively. For Sahasravadhanams that span over a week in marathon literary sessions that last from dawn to dusk, the event acquired a dimension of a festive aura for literary buffs over the years.

Kopparupu Sodara Kavulu took it to dizzy heights through their exceptional literary prowess. This gifted duo used to compose 300 verses extempore per hour, while another renowned poet duo Tirupati Venkata Kavulu immensely popularised avadhanam, making it enjoyable even for a layman through their superlative yet lucid compositions. Later, greats like Veluri Sivarama Sastry, Gadecharla, Avadhana Saraswathi Perala Bharata Sarma, CV Subbana Satavadhani and others contributed a lot on this count.

Evolution

With the arrival of modern trends of expression and an ideology-driven literature, this unique genre receded to the backburner for a few decades. However, thanks to the abiding charm of the metrical verse and untiring efforts of the young crop of Avadhanis like Madugula, Garikapati, Kadimella, Medasani and Vaddiparthi Padmakar etc., this genre successfully staged a comeback by the last decade of the previous century.

The seven-day Avadhana Saptaham in Visakhapatnam commenced with noted Garikapati’s avadhanam. The event featured seven avadhanis, each presenting a distinct session for more than three hours in the evening, while the avadhanams of the first ever women duo in the form, Bulusu Aparna and Phullabhatla Naga Santhi Swaroopa, capped the event. Each session sparkled in its multi-dimensional literary hues offering a rich treat to literary buffs.

Avadhanis Abbireddy Perayya Naidu, Kota Venkata Lakshmi Narasimham, Gandluri Dattatreya Sama, Palaparthi Sayamalanada Prasad and Kadimella Vara Prasad too participated in the event. Palaparthi’s avadhanam is noteworthy for its rich shades of Achha Tenugu or purely native Telugu. Sanskrit terms like Dattapadi, Nishiddhakshari, Vyasthakshari populate the parlance of Avadhanam format. One asked him to give those terms a Telugu shade and he instantaneously termed them Kuduraata (Avadhanam), Enukuduru (Ashtavadhanam), Nuduvari (Avadhani) Nadupari (Co-ordinator), Nudukottu (Aprasthuta Prasangam) Podupukattu (Samasysa), Vakattu (Nishiddhakshari), Vadikattu (Aasuvu), Prakattu (Puranam), Nudikattu (Dattapadi) and Podagattu (Varnana), thus drawing wide applause.

Avadhana Sapthaham organising committee hosted the event.

century. He gave it a detailed structure and its salient features like Dattapadi, Samasya, Nishiddakshari etc. Later, it did not remain confined to just an octave template of Ashtavadhanam involving eight questioners known as Pruschakas. This genre burgeoned many fold as Sathavadhanam, Dwisathavadhanam and Sahasravadhanam involving 100, 200 and 1000 questioners respectively. For Sahasravadhanams spaning over even week in a marathon dawn to dusk literary sessions, the event acquired a dimension of festive aura for literary buffs over the years.


Our code of editorial values

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 2:45:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/avadhana-saptaham-a-weeklong-celebrations-of-ashtavadhanams/article7353855.ece

Next Story