Monday, November 30, 2009

Ravuri Bharadwaja - Drops of Light

Sri Ravuri Bharadwaja is a great man.
He has as many doctorates as possible.
Interestingly he never went to school, he says.
He is a writer of exceptional calibre.
He is so different from the usual good writers.
The books he has published are perhaps countless.
I found in my collection, a small book he gave me .

The book is tiltled Drops of Light.
The man appearing on the title is none other than Bharadwaja himself.

Flowing beard, coarse Khadi and all!
He also is different like his creations.
Our good frind Anand created that title.

The booklet is a collection of kind of poems comparable to those by Tagore.
They are very diffrent in their content.

This is the note he wrote on the inner title page of the book.
He calls me Mavayya, meaning uncle.
That too a Chinna Mavayya, younger one.
He calls everyone with a relation like that.
Not by the names!
Different again!

Here is a sampling of the content of the booklet.
He published such pieces continuously in Andhra Bhoomi, if I am right.
Read the rough translation of the pieces.

*   *   *
With the help of ropes of water,
to draw the mother earth towards them,
the black clouds;
with the same water ropes,
to pull the clouds towards her,
the mother earth,
Are struggling throughout the rainy season.

*    *    *
After giving you,
the me surrounding you,
and the me within me,
I am left as a popper,
who can never give anything to anybody,
my little one!

*    *    *
"As for me I am clean and white.
This lady sky, sprinkled her blue dirt all over me,
and turned me into a blue water body."
Thus lamented the tank.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Paintings and Autographs

Parapancha Telugu Mahasabhalu of 1975 were a grand success.
I never thought I will be saving the Souvenir from the Sabhaluand sharing the Paintings on the net.
Technology does wonders some times.
I always tell people that we should learn to make use of technology for our purposes.
I think I am doing it now.

Krishnaveni with Autograph of Rajani
Paintings are however good.
But, to add value to them, there are signatures of great peole on them.
Rajani won laurels for his Radio feature "Kondanundi Kadali Daka" which was about River Krishna.
I never thought Balantarpu Rajanikantarao garu will become a friend of mine when I took this autograph.
Later in life we came very close to each other and he took a liking towards me.
There was a gap in this relation because he moved to other places.
Rajani became old, no doubt.
His spirits are the same, I can vouch.
I met him recently andreminded him who I am.
To my surprise he started asking me questions about the discussion on astronomy we had years back!
Hats off to the old man!
Rajani is polyglot.
It is injustice to talk about him in such short blog.

(Click on the pictures to see them in original size)
Nagarjunacharya with autograph of Murali garu

Mangalampalli Balamurali Krishna is a great person.
I came to know him also personally later in life.
Balamurali was and is a Hero for me!
He has a specila plce in my heart.
I will desist from talking about him here.

There will be better posts to talk about him!
More such paintings in the pipeline!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Maharajapuram Sri Santanam - Concert

I saw and heard Sri Santanam in Seventies. Not his Seventies of course!
I was not really impressed.
Later I heard a lot of his music.
I am nobody to comment on his music but, you could see his rising throughout!

This is what I found about Sri Santanam on the net.

Endowed with an enchantingly sweet voice and dedicated to the practice of classical music in his individualistic style, Maharajapuram Santhanam has earned the admiration of a massive majority of music lovers. He was the second son of his illustrious father, Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer. Fondly called "chinna kothandu" by his family, Santhanam sang with his father in concerts over a number of years from an early age.

Santaanam had his initial training under Melattur Sama Dikshithar and under his father. While joining his father in concerts, he simultaneously completed his schooling from the Town High School, Kumbakonam in 1945.

Though Santhanam's initiation into carnatic music began in 1948, at a marriage, to be quickly followed by a formal debut at the South Indian Club in Calcutta, he emerged as a 'complete musician' only in the 1970s, music critics say.

Santhanam gave a recital at the Thyagaraja Aradhana festival at Thiruvaiyaru in 1952 and made his appearance at the Music Academy in Madras, the Mecca of Carnatic musicians in 1958-59.

During 1960-65, Santhanam served as the HOD of the Ponnambalam Ramanathan College of Music in Jaffna in Sri Lanka.

Endowed with a 'genuine classicism', Santhanam was on the expert committe of the Music Academy for a number of years.

He won several titles and honours, including the 'Padmashri' in 1990,
'Sangeeta Kalanidhi' from the Music Academy in 1989,
Sangeeta Natak Academy award in 1984,
TN Govt's 'KalaiMamani' award.
"Sangeetha Sudhakara" by the Yoga vedanta University at Rishikesh.

A former "Asthana Vidwan" of the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam and the Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt. Sri Santhanam was also bestowed with the "Gana Kalanidhi" by Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati of Sringeri, and "Sangitha Sagaramritha Varshi" by Sri Jayendra Saraswati of the Kanchi mutt.

The forte of Santhanam's singing technique was the art of communicating profound musical expressions with an easy to absorb simplicity. Towards this end he modulated his voice effectively to stress the nuances of a raga sanchara or to bring out the elegance of the sahitya in a song. In his kutcheris one could not discern the distinction between a weighty song and a thukkada, for he treated each song with consummate embellishment that long after he stopped singing the piece, it lingered in the ears of the listener.

It used to be said of Vidwans of yesteryears that their kutcheri pattern was marked by proportion - raga alapana, songs, and swaras. Santhanam was out-and-out a follower of this great tradition. In another aspect too he belonged to the galaxy of Viswanatha Iyer and his contemporaries. He had immense faith in the grandeur of familiar ragas, uplifting the quality of performancc- say Kalyani, Sankarabharana, or Khamboji.

Like his father, Santhanam took classical carnatic music to people in his melodious style and was marching with vigor and determination winning the hearts of overflowing audiences. Without deviating from the classical style of good quality, he made his recitals highly entertaining. He had a rich repertoire of songs. His mellow presentation, the pieces and rendition of ragas, neravals and swaras had a pleasant style of classicism satisfying common AND elite listeners. His many commercial cassettes are treasured in the homes of his admirers as a valuable possession.

Maharajapuram had respect for fellow musicians. The Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer trust founded by him in the name of his father in 1985 has been honouring senior musicians every year with awards and financial assistance and arranging concerts of eminent and young artists.

Santhanam's encouragement and sincere appreciation of the accompanists was as generous as his music was great. He was one who could create the satisfaction of a 4 hour concert in 2 hours. Programming was such that while neraval and swaraprasthanams moved with grace, the alapana threw open the magic casement of the aesthetic charm, the song bridged both.

The concert being presented here is exceptionally good!
Sri Santanam and the accompanists enjoyed every bit of it!

 The Team:

Sri Maharajapuram Santanam - Vocal
(Vocal Support by Sri Ramachandran?)
Sri M S Gopalakrishnan - Violin
Sri Guruvayur Dorai - Mridangam

List of items:

01 Rajarajeswari Sive Pahimam - Poornachandrika.mp3
02 Brihadambikayai - Vasanta.mp3
03 Anandamritakarshini - Amritavarshini.mp3
04 Tripura Sundari - Sama.mp3
05 Kamakshi - Varali.mp3
06 Kalyani Ragam.mp3
07 Pahi Pahi Sharade - Kalyani.mp3
08 Himachalatanaya - Anandabhairavi.mp3
09 Shanmukhapriya Ragam Tanam.mp3
10 Devi Sri Tripurasundari - pallavi.mp3
11 Srichakraraja - Ragamalika.mp3
12 Tunga teera Virajam - Salaga Bhairavi.mp3
13 Suttum Vizhi Chudar.mp3
14 Senthamiz Nadu.mp3
15 Mangalam.mp3


Enjoy great music!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Smt. Radha & Smt. Jayalakshmi - Vocal

GNB was a legend.
He taught many people who became masters in their own right.
Radha and Jayalakshmi were among such people.
Not to forget MLV.
It is painful to see that there is no place on the net where one can read about Radha & Jayalakshmi.
I saw R and J when they came for an invited audience concert to Hyderabad long back.
Their singing was so good.
They were so poupular at one point of time.
I still listen to their old recordings regularly.
Taraka Bindige rings in my ears!

During the Centenary Celebrations of GNB, let us pay homage to him by listening to his disciples.
I really do not know if I can share a radio concert of GNB!

Here is an old radio concert of Smt.Radha and Smt.Jayalakshmi.
This is not from Hyderabad. It is from AIR Chennai.

The Team:

Smt. Radha and Jayalakshmi - Vocal
Sri Coimbatore Dakshina Murthy - Violin
Sri Kuttalam Viswanatha Iyer - Mridangam
Sri Nagaraja Rao - Ghatam

List of items:

01 Sharanu Siddhi - Saurashtram.mp3
02 Aadamodi - Charukesi.mp3
03 Sundaratara - Pantuvarali.mp3
04 Annapurne - Sama.mp3
05 Swaminathena - Brindavana Saranga.mp3
06 Uruvidu - Kharaharapriya.mp3

Watch out for more interesting uploads here!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Zen Poem in Telugu

Zen Poem in Telugu

ఒక రాయి విసిరిన వేళ

గతంలో నేను నేర్చుకున్నవన్నీ


ఒక్క క్షణం

అంతా అయోమయం

దైనందిన జీవితంలో

పనికోసం గాలించి

అడుగులేస్తున్న పాతబాటలోనే


మానసిక ఇరకాటం లేదు

బలహీనత లేదు


అడ్డుగోడలు లేవు


ఒక రంగులోనో


అణిగి లేను


ఎక్కడయినా ఎప్పుడయినా



ఇలాగే సిద్ధిస్తుందని.

జెన్ గురువు సెంజీ కవిత ఇది.

జెన్ కథలు అనే

(డి.చంద్రశేఖర రెడ్డి, యామిజాల జగదీశ్ గారల) పుస్తకంలోని ఒక కథ నుంచి

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sri T R Mahalingam - Flute

Sri T R Mahalingam, a muiscal Genius

(Yours sincerely with Mali Sir) 

I was fortunate to know Sri Mahalingam personally and shared my moments with him in some places.
I will not make any personal comments here, but bring a few words from a book “Carnatic Summer” written by Sriram. V, a well known writer in music circles.

I have my own reservations about the way he has written about various people in the book.
However, his comments are not to be brushed aside.

This is what he wrote in the beginning of the article on Mali Sir.

When Semmangudi srinivasa Iyer was asked to list the great geniuses of Carnatic music, he thought of only three names – ‘Flute’ Mali, T N Rajarathinam Pillai and Palghat Mani Iyer. That Mali or T R Mahalingam, though the youngest of the three had come first to the mind of the grand sire of music spoke eloquently of his unquestioned virtuosity on the flute. He was, in many ways, the flute equivalent of Rajarathinam Pillai on the nagaswaram. When Mali was in the mood, he played some of the finest melodies on his flute, enchanting his listeners and taking them on the path to musical nirvana. He did not just please his listeners; he would also move their hearts.

This recording being presented here is unusual. There is no Violin accompaniment.
Knowledgeable people should tell whether there was a concert without Violin, or this is a special recording. I got this recording from the collection of my good friend Late N S Srinivasan, a disciple of Mali sir.
There is only one item in the hour long recording.
Details are as under.
01 Shankarabharanam Alapana 1
02 Shankarabharanam Alapana 2
03 Eduta Nilachite – Shankarabharanam
04 Tani
I hope I am correct in identifying the Kriti.

I request rasikas to give some feedback on the post.
I am not looking at thanking notes, please.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A page from my diary

A page literally from my diary.
As I have written it at that time.

(Click to see it bigger)

The year is 2000.

I have as usual mused about human nature.
I said.
Man is ahbituated to feel happy for no reason.
Some thing that you like happens.Even though it i not such a great thing to cause happiness, based on your mental status one fels happy.
You are aware of the feelings.
Even then happiness after all is happiness!

Interestingly I wrote this and many others of my musings in old Telugu.
Thare were times when couple of us were too very impressed by the language style of Viswanatha and were talikng like that.
I continued it much longer.
My son who is sympathetic towards Telugu and its idiom read a couple of pages from the diary recently.
He asked me who would understand the language these days.

He is right perhaps.
Language has become no man's land!
The expressions in the media are so strange that I feel I do not know my language!
Less said about it, better it is!

There may be one person who would like to read such language.
I am waiting for that person. perhaps.
I usually do not give up things very easily!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bharatiyar song

The great Tamil poet Mahakavi Subramanya Bharati has penned a lot of wonderful songs.
This one is among the few that haunt me.

1: kAkkai shiraginilE nandalAlA ninran kariya niram tOnrudaiyE nandalAlA
2: pArkku marangaLellAm nandalAlA ninran paccai niram tOnrudaiyE nandalAlA
3: kEtkum oli ellAm nandalAlA ninran gItam ishaikkudaDA nandalAlA
4: tIkkuL viralai vaittAl nandalAlA ninnait-tINDum inbam tOnrudaDA nandalAlA

 This is what it roughly means.

In the crows black feather, Nanda Lala,

I see your duskiness, Nanda Lala.

In every green tree that I see, Nanda Lala,

I see your divine colour, Nanda Lala.

In every sound that I hear, Nanda Lala,

I hear the sound of your music, Nanda Lala.

In the touch of a fire, Nanda Lala,

I feel the thrill of touching you, Nanda Lala.

Telugu version by me.

కాకి నల్లరెక్కలలో నందలాలా, నీ కారుమేని చాయదోచె నందలాలా

చూచిన చెట్లన్నిటిలో నందలాలా, నీ పచ్చదనమే తోచె నందలాలా

విన్న ప్రతి సవ్వడిలో నందలాలా, నీ దివ్యగానమే తోచె నందలాలా

నిప్పు తాకినాగాని నందలాలా, నిన్ను తాకినట్టె తోచె నందలాలా

Listen to the song.

K J Yesudas in Film style

O S Arun in classical style


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Paintings of Telugu artists

World Telugu Conference (ప్రపంచ తెలుగు మహాసభలు) in 1975.
I was a student of M.Sc. at that time.
Those were the three days when I absented myself from the classes.
I attended the proceedings that took place at Lalbahadur Stadium, Hyderabad.
Drama, music, discussions and it was a real gala.

(Click to see larger pictures)
They produced a very good souvenir on the occassion.
I remember it costed Rs.12 which was a lot for me at that time.
I bought it.
The volume was full of informative articles.
There were also some paintings in the volume.
They were printed on better paper.
I went around and took autographs of some famous people.

Now, when I look into the volume, I realised that it was a kind of value addition.
You may sure find a painting by Sri Pakala Tirumala Reddy garu (PTReddy for short).
But, would you find one with a signature of Sri Devulapalli Krishna Sastry garu?

When I asked Sri Krishna Sastry for autograph and showed him this painting he wrote "Ammayyo".
I said I also felt the same on looking at him.
His hair was snow white.
He was a frail old man and already lost his voice.
That is why he wrote that word!

I have a few more value added paintings which I will be bringing here in a sequence.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

M D Ramanathan - Vocal

I was a young boy when I first listened to Sri MDRamanathan.
That was a record and item Giripai nelakonna was there in it.
I thought there is something wrong with the recording or the singer.
I am told AIR received phone calls saying there is speed variation when this record was on air.

I later discovered what an exceptionally learned singer Sri MDR is!
The voice is not so hoarse in any other recording!
I left Kharaharapriya to him after I heard an hour long rendering of MDR where he almost exhausted the ragam.

Internet is doing some wonders to the culture.
All the hidden treasures of arts are coming into the reach of interested peope.
Muisc, particularly Carnatic is more popular now because of this sharing.

I profusely thank Sri Srinivasan of Mumbai who sent me this recording.
There are more concerts in the pipeline.

First of the batch is an exceptionally good concert of Sri MDRamanathan.

Here is the list of Items:

01 Evari Bodhana - Abhogi Varnam

02 Divakaratanujam - Yadukula Kambhoji
03 Pahiramaduta - Vasantavarali
04 Hariharaputram - Vasanta
05 Hariharaputram Contd
06 Santamuleka - Sama
07 Shankarabharanam Ragam
08 Swararagasudha - Shankarabharanam
09 Taniavartanam
10 Nandagopa - Kapi
11 Maname Sriramanaipada - Sindhubhairavi
12 Mangalam Unique

(Not happy with Pavamanasutudu alone, MDR adds few more lines from other songs to the Mangalam.)

Go to my mediafire collection to download the Concert.

Keep visitng the blog for regular uploads of Carnatic music.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Voleti Venkateswarlu - Vocal

Voleti was an interesting man.
At the first look, you never thought he is such a great musician.
He was a bulky man!
But his silken voice was totally divine.
I heard a Punnagavarali on Hyderabad radio which I can never forget!

I found this write up on the net:

He was born in 1928 in Rajamundry, Andra Pradesh. He had his formal training in music from C. Achutaramaiah and Munuganti Venkatarao Pantulu. He polished his music with the veteran musician, Dr Sripada Pinakapani. He was fond of Hindustani music also and therefore he sang many Hindustani ragas at the end of his concerts - either as shlokas or bhajans . He graduated with a degree in music from Andhra University.

He worked in the All India Radio, Vijayawada as the Program Producer and he brought in some innovative programs. Bhakti ranjani and Sangita sikshana were his creations and they were very popular with listeners.

In his concerts, he mostly sang kritis of Tyagaraja, one or two compositions of Muthuswami Dikshitar, Shyama Sastri, Patnam Subramania Iyer and Tanjavur Ponnaiah Pillai. He sang javalis also. Kshetrayya padams and Narayana teertha tarangams would find a place in his concert repertoire. His raga alapanas, rendering kritis showed his style and creative imagination. Dr Sripada Pinakapani had remarked that he was impressed by Voleti’s musical knowledge and called him a genius. He further added that Voleti was one of the best musicians Andhra Pradesh has produced. Among the senior musicians he had high regard for include Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar and Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan. Their pictures adorned the living room of his home in Vijayawada.

He was fond of singing ragas like Begada, Varali, Ranjani, Hamsanandi, Hindolam and Pantuvarali. Of course, he did not exclude singing ragas like Todi, Kharaharapriya, Kalyani and Purvikalyani. Before he sang a kriti in Purvikalyani he would be elaborating panchama varja raga alapana for Purvikalyani, which was interesting. .The sancharas were clear and precise.

He never practiced for his concert. Before his concert he would be in a contemplative mood and would not talk much at all. Before the Sangita Sikshana program on the AIR, he would be humming or doing alapana in Hindustani ragas at the studios. However, as soon as the program or the song was announced on the radio he would quickly switch to the typical Carnatic style of singing. Such was his facility in changing from one style to another.

Here is an old Radio recording of Sri Voleti.

List of items:
01 Daridapu - Saveri
02 Sri Raghuvara - Kambhoji Part 1
03 Sri Raghuvara - Kambhoji Part 2
04 Entati Kuluke - Kalyani Javali
05 Akativelala - Revati
06 Brahmaiva - Misra Sivaranjami


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Padampa Sangye - 100 Verses of Advice

The Hundred Verses of Advice

Padampa sangye (1117)

Padampa Sangye was a south Indian Buddhist master.

He migrated to north and settled in a place called Tingri at the foot of Himalayas.

He is one among the great Buddhist teachers.

His teachings are exceptionally interesting.

Let us enjoy some of them.

The collection is a typical Satakam with hundred verses.

Only the English translation is available.

The original must be in Pali.

Homage to the teacher!

Fortunate practitioners gathered here in Tingri, listen!

Just as worn-out clothes can never again be made as new,

It’s no use seeing a doctor once you're terminally ill;

You’ll have to go. We humans, living on this earth

Are like streams and rivers flowing toward the ocean –

All living beings are heading for that single destination.

Now, like a small bird flying off from a treetop,

I, too, will not be here much longer; soon I must move on.

తింగ్రీలో చేరిన అదృష్టవంతులయిన సాధకులారా, వినండి.

పాతబడిన దుస్తులను తిరిగి కొత్తవిగా మార్చలేనట్లే

అంతిమకాలం వచ్చిన తర్వాత ఎంతటి వైద్యుని తెచ్చినా లాభం లేదు.

మీరందరూ పోవలసిందే. భూమి మీద బతికే మనుషులనే మనం
సముద్రం వేపు పరుగులెత్తుతున్న వాగులూ నదులవంటి వాళ్లం
జీవులన్నీ ఆ ఏకైక గమ్యం వేపు నడుస్తున్నాయి.

ఎత్తైన చెట్టుపైనుంచి ఎగిరి పోయే పిట్టలాగ
నేనూ ఎంతోకాలం ఇక్కడ ఉండను, త్వరలో నేనూ కదలాలి.

If you spend the present meaninglessly and leave with empty hands,

People of Tingri, a human life in the future will be very hard to find.

మీరు ప్రస్తుతాన్ని అర్థం లేకుండా గడిపి ఉత్తిచేతులతో వెళ్లిపోతే

తింగ్రీ ప్రజలారా, మునుముందు మనిషి జన్మ దొరకడం బహుకష్టం.

To apply yourselves with body, speech and mind to the sacred Teachings,

People of Tingri, is the best thing that you can do.

పవిత్రపాఠాలను మనసా వాచా కర్మణా పట్టించుకోవడం
మీరు చేయగలిగిన అత్యుత్తమ కర్తవ్యం.

Give your very life, heart and soul to the Three Jewels [the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha],

People of Tingri, and their blessings cannot but arise.

మీ జీవితాన్నీ, మనసునూ, ఆత్మనూ త్రిరత్నాలకు అంకితం చేయండి.

ఆశీర్వాదాలు అవే వస్తాయి.

Forget your goals for this life - concentrate instead on lives to come.

People of Tingri, that is the highest goal.

ఈ జన్మలో గమ్యాలను మరచిపొండి. వచ్చేజన్మల మీద ధ్యాస పెట్టండి.
అదే అన్నిటికన్నా ఉన్నతమయిన గమ్యం.

Families are as fleeting as a crowd on market day;

People of Tingri, don't bicker or fight.

కుటుంబమంటే సంతలో గుంపులా అశాశ్వతం.

కక్షలూ కావేషాలూ దండగ.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sikkil Sisters - Flute

Flute is my favourite instrument.
I like wind instruments very much.
I am happy to share with you an old radio comcert of
Sikkil Sisters Smt.Neela and Smt.Kunjumani.
Here is a write up about them, I found on the net.

the Sikkil sisters, as they are popularly known in the music fraternity, have perfected the `gayaki' style of playing on their musical instrument-the flute-certainly no mean achievement for, in Carnatic music unlike in the West, there are no separate scores for musical instruments. ``To us the audience is of prime importance. We sincerely try to please them. That is the aim of our music," declares the elder of the sisters, Kunjumani. An unassuming artiste, she talks, on their music, in a manner totally devoid of any frills and artifices. Her sister Neela seemed content to allow her sister to narrate their story. As Kunjumani began her narration, we travelled back in time just sixty years to the place of their birth - Sikkil, a small village in Thanjavur district. ``Oodhu di kutti oodhu" (Blow, little girl, blow), Azhiyur Narayanaswamy Iyer goaded his `little' student of eight. Kunjumani mustered up all her lungpower and blew into the instrument that rested in her tiny hands. She was a `natural' in music. Narayanaswamy Iyer, her periappa was a flautist of repute. In fact, says Kunjumani, ``he was a violinist, he could play the harmonium too, maybe, we can call him a sakala kala vallavan (adept at all arts). When I heard periappa play, I was drawn to his musicNoticing their child's involvement in music, Azhiyur Natesa Iyer, her father and a reputed mridanga vidwan, had a After all, no woman from a respectable family had so far taken to this instrument, (flute)." Azhiyur Natesa Iyer sharply silenced all the dissident voices. That was the beginning. Azhiyur Narayanaswamy Iyer was a good teacher. It was evident in the progress of the student. Her first concert took place at Nagoor near Nagapattinam. After that, there was no stopping her victory trail. At the age of fifteen, she got married and settled with her husband in Bombay. Initially, his parents were opposed to their daughter-in-law playing on public platforms. But later her husband Venkatraman, influenced by the liberal atmosphere at Bombay allowed his wife to perform. The hurdle had been overcome. ``Baby (Neela) was born ten years after me. You see, in the meantime, my husband got transferred to Madras. I shifted back to Sikkil and pursued my learning. This time my father was my guru." In the meantime, Natesa Iyer, in Kunjumani's absence, sorely missed the strains of music in his house. Neela was taught to play the flute. Her principal mentor and guide was her elder sister Kunjumani.

List of items in this recording:

01 Chalamela - Natakurinji Varnam

02 Teliyaleru Rama - Dhenuka

03 Santamuleka - Sama

04 Jalandhara - Valajhi

05 Amma Ravamma - Kalyani(Incomplete)

More of flute music in the pipeline!!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bhagyamati - Was she for real?

Sri KVBhoopal Rao and his book "Bhagyamati"

Sri Bhoopal Rao hails from the clan of Akkanna and Madanna, the ministers in the Golkonda dynasty. He is a historian and written much on the subject. I met him when he could be called an old man. But his enthusiasm was almost contagious. He strived to study the history of Qutabshahis and published his results.

The book in question was published when the 400 years were to be celebrated. I was also somehow involved in those celebrations planned extensively but never happened.

Sri Rao took all the pains to impress about the theme of his work and saw to it that it was published.

Sri Krishna Satry garu, an equally serious researcher and former head of AP State Archeology Department wrote the introduction to this 96 page book in Telugu. The theme is about the existence of a lady by name Bhagamati. People want to call the city as Bhagyanagaram without even knowing the history. It is interesting to note that the name now prevailing, Hyderabad, is also after the same lady who after embracing islam became Hydermahal.

భాగమతి గాధ తాలూకు అనేక సాక్ష్యాధారాలను  వెలుగులోకి తెచ్చి భాగమతికి ఈ పుస్తకం ద్వారా జీవం పోసి భూపాలరావుగారు చరిత్రకారులలో ఒక ప్రత్యేకస్థానాన్ని సంపాదించుకున్నారు. Says Sri Krishna Sastry. He also narrates his visit to the tomb in Rein Bazaar supposedly belonging to Bhagamati or Hydermahal.

The book reads well. Sri Rao’s skill and felicity with the language and expression make it interesting. I do not know whether I can comment that research findings in the book are few and the author himself agrees to this fact. However he makes a case for the colorful existence of the lady love of Quli Qutub Shah the ruler of Hyderabad..

Sri Rao’s passion for the topic is evident in the preface he wrote under the title “Mansuloni Mata”.

It is really his heart and not just dear to his heart.

Unabashed, he says, “తిట్టమరిగిన నోరూ, తిరుగమరిగిన కాలూ స్తబ్ధంగ ఉండలేవంటారు విజ్ఞులు. ఉద్వేగంగ దౌడు తీయుటకు అలవాటు పడిన నా మనస్సు, జవాశ్వం లాగ ముందుకురకటం మానలేదు. These words from an old man !!

Two experts Sri Sastry mentioned above and also Sri BNSastry, an epigraphist and literary historian, endorse the work.

Couple of exerpts from the book makes an interesting reading.

Even today many believe that the story of Bhagamati is just that, a story, and such a female never existed. There is another group which strongly believes in her existence. There is no doubt about the three people mentioned in this entry being from the later group. They plead the case and almost prove her existence.

 (Click on the images to see them in big size)

I feel all people interested in history and particularly local history  should be reading such works. I really do not know if the book, published way back in 1993 is now available in any shop. I do not know whether Mahamantri Madanna Trust is active still.

The address given in the book is:

Mahamantri madanna Trust