Rewarding eminence

Sadguru K. Sivananda Murthy (right) presenting Raja-Lakshmi Foundation awards to Carnatic vocal maestro Nedunuri Krishna Murthy, Vedic scholar Evani Ramakrishna Ghanapaati and Gollapudi Maruthi Rao. At left is the foundation chief, P.V. Ramanaiah Raja. - Photo: K.R. Deepak  

The Chennai based Raja-Lakshmi Foundation organised its 26th annual awards function at Kalabharati. The awards were announced on August 15 and the function was held on November 19, the birthdays of the late Lakshmi and her husband P.V. Ramanaiah Raja, managing trustee of the foundation.

In his benedictory address at the awards function, Sadguru K. Sivananda Murthy remarked that arduous and ardent tending of the intellect with selfless dedication only, one could achieve eminence. ''Rewarding the best among such eminent persons inspires the youth in particular,'' observed the Sadguru, congratulating Mr. Raja on serving such a noble cause.

The Vedic Puraskar, comprising Rs.30,000 in cash, a shawl, silk clothes, memento and citation (scripted and read out by Rambhatla Nrusimha Sarma of AIR), was presented to the Vedic scholar, Sriman Evani Ramakrishna Ghanapaati of Rajahmundry.

The Visishta Puraskar of a similar package (citation, scripted and read out by Perala Balamuralikrishna) was presented to the renowned stage and screen actor, director, literary critic and author of many plays, short stories and novels, Gollapudi Maruthi Rao.

The choice for the Raja-Lakshmi Award comprising a purse of Rs.1 lakh, memento and citation (scripted and read out by Perala) was the vocal maestro, `Sangita Kalaanidhi' Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, whose diamond jubilee year of his entry with penchant into the field of Carnatic music and the golden jubilee of his regular concerts for the Madras Music Academy were celebrated by his disciples recently.

Jyoti Rao, on behalf of the Telugu Fine Arts Society of New Jersy, extended the formal invitation to Nedunuri to visit the US and receive the cheque for $2,000, customarily presented by the society to the recipient of the Raja-Lakshmi Award every year.

The renowned connoisseur of music and dance from Chennai, Pappu Venugopala Rao, the Vijay Nirman Company's proprietor, S. Vijay Kumar, and the president of Soundaryalahari, A.S. Ramadeavi, who were the guests of honour, spoke.

Making a special mention of the latest novel, `Sayankaalamaiyindi' by Gollapudi and the arduousness involved in setting music in the classical idiom to 108 compositions of Annamayya by Nedunuri commanding the commendation of stalwarts of Carnatic tradition, MS, Semmamgudi and the likes, Dr. Venugopala Rao opined that these alone would qualify them (Gollapudi and Nedunuri) for many more such awards.

The alternate compering replete with a tenor of vying of sorts for flowery expression by Dr. Balamurali Krishna and Mr. Rambhatla while constituted lively interludes, the prelude was the Harikatha by J. Krishnakumari. P.V. Yogesh proposed a vote of thanks.