I am Gopalam Karamchedu also known as Vijayagopal. I am a writer communicator. I share my thoughts and the collections here. My interests include, books, management, classical music, culture, languages etc..Thanks to all the friends who make my efforts meaningful. You are welcome to add material here. Write to me if you want to contribute.
Sea and coast are things of awe to me.
I am born in an area where water is a scarcity.
A river is an idea.
Sea is a dream.
So, when I see sea, I am afraid.
So much of water!
I was in the backwaters at Veli once.
Even today I shudder to think of my feelings that day!
I was at Bheemili recently.
I captured a few scenes there!
Here they are!
Here is an interesting story by the master story teller Sri Chaganti Somayajulu.
I don't have any intention of infringing on the copyrights here.
This is a tribute by an ardent fan!
The Dung Beetle
Till yesterday or the day before Appayamma also eked out her living with
scrubbing and cleaning utensils. In the Gunadalas street she is addressed as
She now has no need to clean utensils and other things. It is past nine
months since she has come over that need. Appi took another birth and turned
There are advantages in cleaning utensils. Family people give rice and
curries to her. When a festival or an occasion, marriage or such comes up they
would not let her go just like that. The work may be menial but has its
Appi, till the other day went to cleaning work, in inadequate dirty
stinking clothes. Now, after turning into Appayamma, her body is full of twines
that bloom. Hair that was like jute because of no oil or such, now shines like
a black bee, with curls and is hanging as a long plait behind.
Appayamma did not find anything to do in the street. That is a street of
waged workers. Men and women go out for work. Alone, unable to spend time with
the old and children left behind, she ventured onto the road.
She likes the cattle that stray on to the road. If the bullock carts come
she would lose herself. She loves the carts too. Carts means, the bullocks and
the he buffalos tied to them are dearer to her.
By nine the wagers street was deserted. Appayamma came on to the road and
stood up. There is a line of carts coming up. She was waiting for them with
ecstasy. On looking at the Naidus on the
carts, her liking for the bullocks and the he buffalos increased. Carts are
from Bhogapuram. Her mother’s village Lingalavalasa is half a mile away
She asked the Naidu sitting on the first cart “Oh! Brother! Which village
are the carts from?”
“Bhogapuram” answered Naidu.
“Only since I could make out, I asked after all. Is Surinaidu of
Lingalavalasa alright?” she questioned in turn.
“What about him. He is like a bullock. He is there on a cart behind” he
The line of carts was very long. The city businessman has bought the ground
nut crop of three villages in one go. The carts from all the villages around
Bhogapuram were there. Waiting for Surinaidu, Appayamma was examining each and
very cart. She forgpt her purpose of coming onto the road and was pining for
Surinaidu appeared. He was sitting on the front portion of the cart. Does
he know Appi like one thing? They are from the same village. In dresses and
diggings if he would not know her whoelse would know?
“Hey! Suriga!” she accosted him. Surinaodu could not recognize Appayamma.
On listening to the voice he shuddered and looked at her. He jumped from the
cart and stopped it. The whole line of carts came to a halt.
“Oh! Appi! Is that you?’ have picked up a lot of city style! I mistook you
for some Brahmin lady!” he said with wonderment. Appi laughed. Her eyes got
closed. Her body shhok..
Suri mistook Appi for a Brahmin lady. It is two years since he saw her.
Appi stopped going to the mothers palce since two years.
“Would you, at least this year, come to the Mother God’s Festival?” he asked.
“I shall” said she. She thought it would be imperative to go to the village
after Appi became Appayamma.
“Don’t ever forget Suri. OK” said Suri.
“Would I talk if I forgot?” she said. All the carts behind were stopped.
“Hey! Drive the cart!’ someone shouted.
For Naidu, driving the cart was sure difficult. He was aghast seeing Appi.
What does he know that Appi is now Appayamma. What does he know that her body
would be filled with twines, flowers and colours? What does he know that she
would leave her pliats hanging with flowers in it? What does he know that
golden pendants would be hanging from her ears?
Only that he would know, Appayamma stopped the bullock carts. Only to show
the difference between Appi with the waterpot and the city Appayamma shining
with twines and colours, she stopped the carts.
The carts went their way.
Appi’s husband is Kamaraju. He established a brick kiln. Bricks fetched
good returns. In the street where laborers never had a dime, Kamaraju became a
man with papers. Now, there are color notes in handfuls. Appi came out of the
tedium of cleaning utensils. Golden pendants came to her ears.
Appayamma came onto the road because she found the street sans any idea.
She could see money scattered on the road. Why sit idle? If there is more money
would it be bitter? Their street was the main road for many villages. All the
carts go that way only. There would be dung all the time filling the road.
There is money in the dung! If one makes dung cakes, there would be fistful of
Appayamma is buying a lot of sarees. Now there are colors in all the
sarees. Twines and flowers in them. Her hands are full of dung. There are dung
heaps all around the house. There are wet dung cakes on all the walls. Her
house is filled with the stench of the dung. The whole body reeks of dung.
Appayamma is good looking. She has the right age too. She is a blue shining
lotus. She is the beetle in the dung. Dung beetle is a good looking creature.
In this month of Margazhi Smt Jayamani Narasimhan gave me the pleasant task of sharing her Tiruppavai renditions with all. Her grandfather Sriman Madabhushi Gopalacharyulu translated Tiruppavai into Telugu padyams way back in 50's. Smt Jayamani rendered them and recording is available for your pleasure at the following link.
This is not exactly a story.
Sri Kodavatiganti Kutumba Rao wrote some small pieces under the title Galpikalu and Abhhota Kalpanalu.
This is one among them.
Read it keeping in mind that it was written about sixty years back!
What kind of morality was that?
In comparison are we better or worse?
I have no intention of infringing on the copyrights here.
It is only an enthusiastic work of a fan!
Not many can have such ease with words like great Ko Ku had!
The other’s Woman
In our office a low level vacancy arose. Kondal Rao fell
to the sick bed. As the doctor told that there is no hope of his getting well
in a month, to work in his plays one Subrahanyam came from Guntur along with
the spouse. Why family for a period of a month? Unless to spend the four coins
that he earns here towards the rail fares1
Subrahmanyam hired a ten rupee portion near the office
and started the family there. Subrahmanyam’s wife is very good looking person.
She talks freely with the other men too. Many of our office kept going to Mr.
Subrahmanyam’s house and used to sit for a while.
How long will it take for a month be over? Subrahmanyam’s
job was coming to an end. But, Kondal Rao was yet to recover. Then,
Subrahmanyam on his part, after the month, sent the wife and started eating in
Meanwhile Kondal Rao, poor fellow kicked the bucket.
Subrahmanyam’s job became permanent.
“When would you get the wife?’ the entire office asked
“Would get, what is the hurry?’ “I would never get” ‘I am
thinking of writing a letter” “I am thinking of keeping someone for a while and
then bringing the wife” thus, Subrahmanyam was giving replies without repeating
the same to another person.
We came to know that Bhagavanlu who works in our office
has joined Subrahmanyam in the house. There was a rumour that they together
keep a woman.
“My wife comes day after’ said Subrahmanyam.
“Bhagavanlu?” we said.
“He too would stay with us’ said Subrahmanyam.
The same day someone went and told the house owners –
that the two in the house or going to keep someone, so immediately you should
drive them out.
House owner issued Subrahmanyam and Bhagavanlu a notice.
“I wouldn’t budge till the second month gets over, even
if you go to the prevue council!” said Subrahmanyam.
Soon that woman came. – a sinner face and that! We all
hated her just on looking. Having a beautiful wife what is the matter with
this fellow, I thought.
After that woman came, staying only half day, Bhagavnlu
too left the place and went to another room. Wise man he is.
Meanwhile there came a gentleman to our office. “Is
Subrahmanyam there” so saying. On our enquiry it became known that he is the
uncle of Subrahmanyam.
“Subrahmanyam is yet to come. It is his time of arrival.…
It is OK! Then your nephew is keeping someone and living. Elderly person you
are! At least can’t you tell?” I said.
“What is about some woman and living? Your face! It is
his wife after all! Is it not just I am coming from his place? He is not there even at home! Wherever he went…” mumbling that gentleman went away!
There was this magazine, The Illustrated weekly.
We used to read it very regularly.
For more than one reason.
And Mario's cartoons were among the first two reasons at least.
Last week we read a review of a book of Miranda's cartoons.
Now, we are told that the Man is gone!
Surely year 2011 is Annus Horribilis.
It robbed from our midst many a stalwarts.
Bhimsenji is one among them to begin the year.
Pandit Vijaya Raghava Rao is gone too!
Dev Anand (or Raju Guide for us) is the other at the end of the year.
There are many.
Yes, as you get old, you will have many occasions to say this.
But, loss is loss!
Rajani, or Sri Balantrapu Rajanikanta Rao wrote and sang the songs of Gurudev Tagore in their original tunes. He produced many such songs for AIR. In an earlier occassion, I have shared a radio feature by Rajani with such songs.
Now, my good freind, Vamsi gave the text of the song Aklo Chalo in Telugu, in his blog జానుతెనుగు సొగసులు. Here I am adding the track of the song!!
If you listen to the song, you will find that the lyric changed shape by the time it became a song!
We think that Vemana has written only hundred verses. Because we know the word Vemana Satakam. A Satakam is hundred verses. Researchers found that he has written thousands of verses. There is a book where you can find 5000 of his verses. If you have noticed above, unlike usually, I have inserted a picture from a book. The padyam is 2366th in the book.
తామసించి = in anger or hurry చేయదగదు = it is not advisable to do ఎట్టి = any కార్యంబు = work వేగిరింప = if one hurries అదియు = that విషమమగును = would turn critical పచ్చికాయ = raw fruit తెచ్చి = having brought పడవేయ = having thrown ఫలమౌనె = would it ripen
Vemana talks about the way the work should be approached. This works for all including leaders and managers. He says any work should not be begun in a hurry. It means without the right kind of situation and preparation. Vemana tells here that a task begun thus in a hurry would turn critical at some point. We have all experienced this at some point of time in our lives. A well begun task is is no doubt half done. But it's end depends on many other facts too! It would reach the culmination only if it is begun at teh right time and with right situation.
The simile Vemana uses is that of a raw fruit kept carelessly not ripening by itself. The fruit has to be plucked at the right age and kept under right conditions. Only then it would turn into a fruit.
In all the Satakams of great poets, the idea sound too simple in the first glance. But, the difference is that they have seen it as important where we have not!!
Let us enjoy great works and words of wisdom!!
Ustad Sultan Khan plays a Suddh Kalyan on the Sarangi
A Padma Bhushan awardee, Ustad Sultan Khan, 71, hailed from a family of sarangi players in Jodhpur, was on dialysis for past three months and died on his way to hospital, family sources said. Khan is survived by his second wife Bano Khan, son Sabir and two daughters. His funeral will take place in Jodhpur tomorrow.
Credited for reviving sarangi, Khan is famous for his extraordinary control over the instrument and his husky voice. He started performing at a the age of 11, and later collaborated at the international level with sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, on George Harrison's 1974 'Dark Horse World Tour'. Khan's was a family of sarangi masters from Rajasthan. He was initially tutored by his father, Ustad Gulab Khan. Later, he trained under Ustad Amir Khan, a classical vocalist of Indore gharana (school).
After establishing himself as sarangi player, Ustad Sultan Khan also worked with musicians from the Hindi film industry, such as Lata Mangeshkar, Khayyam, Sanjay Leela Bhansali apart from collaborating with musicians in the West including Ornette Coleman, George Harrison and Duran Duran.
Apart from Padma Bhushan, Khan won numerous musical awards including the Sangeet Natak Academy Award twice, the Gold Medalist Award of Maharashtra and the American Academy of Artists Award in 1998.
Khan was also a member of the Indian fusion group Tabla Beat Science with Zakir Hussain and American bassist Bill Laswell. His son, Sabir is also a well-known sarangi player.
(Sorry for the poor quality of recording. Still, it is worth listening!)
This is what I found on the net about the Artist.
"My name is Coimbatore Thayi" announced the sweet voice of the lady at the end of the 78 rpm Gramophone record after the Tamil Song. I do not remember the year but this must have been long long ago, when we had a hand winding Gramophone box with a huge funnel speaker like the one you see today in the logo of HMV Gramophone Company.In those days say seventy years ago all the artists would authenticate their records by such announcement of their name in the end. Palanikunjaram more popularly known as Coimbatore Thayi was born in 1872 in a highly cultured Devadasi family known for its accomplishments in Classical music and dance. Her mother Vengammal was a famous singer and her grandmother Coimbatore Visalakshi was a renowned Sadir (Bharatanatyam dance) artist. Initially Thayi followed her grand mother's foot steps and learnt Sadir and performed her "Arangetram" at the age of 11. But she found her fame was in Carnatic music and the family shifted to Madras in 1890 At Madras she grewup in the company of great exponents of Carnatic music and soon became famous. The newly introduced media known as "Gramophone" in 1900 helped her music to reach the corners of the Presidency. Her recordings were most popular in those days and she headed the popularity chart of HMV for years. But sadly death took her away in her mid-forties, leaving her rich music in the recordings long afterwards. I came across an interesting anecdote about this great lady. It seems a rich visually impaired Frenchman Maurice Delage by name, connoisseur of music heard Thayi's gramophone record in Paris. He was astonished by the voice modulations (gamaka) of the Lady and decided to make a trip to Madras to meet her. and which he did eventually later on. The out come was his composition "quatre poemes hindous".
Maurice Delage, heir to a shoe polish manufacturing fortune, was the Frenchman. Born with a severe eye problem, he developed his hearing to an amazing degree. He also apprenticed with Maurice Ravel and became a pianist and composer of note. It was in Paris in 1911 that he became fascinated with Coimbatore Thayi after hearing a record of hers that, he wrote, “sent chills up and down my spine”. His keen ear, according to the aforementioned researcher, “detected the subtle microtonal effects, which we call the gamaka, she had produced while singing.” He immediately decided to make a trip to Madras to meet her – but of that meeting there’s little record except the quotation above.
During this Indian tour with his parents, he composed Quatre poemes hindous, a song each dedicated to four cities he visited: Madras, Benares, Lahore and Jaipur. The Madras poem includes these lines: “A slim waisted beauty who walks in the forest and whose hands adjust the three golden veils that cover her breasts, reflecting the moonlight all the while.” The researcher wonders whether he was referring to anyone in particular, for instance Thayi. But there is no doubt that what he heard in India had an impact on him, making him suggest various techniques that could be used in Western music to bring to it the benefits of an Indian influence.
The singer who had charmed Delage was born Palanikunjaram in 1872 in Coimbatore. Her mother Vengammal was a well-known singer, her grandmother Coimbatore Visalakshi a renowned dancer. Palanikunjaram learnt sadir and debuted when she was 11. She also learned music. And from a famed Mysore singer she acquired a wide repertoire of Kannada songs.
She moved to Madras in the 1890s, by which time she had become known as Coimbatore Thayi and had set up home in Nattu Pillaiyar Kovil Street, George Town. A neighbour was ‘Veena’ Dhanammal who soon became a close friend. Dhanammal introduced her to several composers and she increased her range considerably. Within a few years, by the time she was 31, she gave up dance and began to concentrate solely on music.
Gramophone discs began to be cut in the Madras of the early 1900s and Coimbatore Thayi was one of the first Carnatic singers to sign up. Her records were soon bestsellers and by 1911 she was receiving top billing as a recording artist. Sadly, she died before her time; she was in her mid-forties when she passed away. But her records kept selling long afterwards.