One of the advantages of being a state is that ageing doesn't really
make you feel bad. Birthdays are causes for celebration even after you are 20,
and what is the wrong side of a number for individuals is prestigious for a
state. Yesterday our state celebrated the 44th year of its coming into being,
with glittering functions at various places across the land, and plenty of bonhomie.
And the capital city had several meetings and cultural programmes, the biggest
being this much awaited festival's inauguration at Necklace Road.
The two-and-a-half kilometer stretch of the Tank Bund was illuminated with colorful
lights, and was bright with people, especially the women-folk, clad in different
glittering costumes. People came from different parts of the city with families
and friends have to enjoy the picturesque ambience and the cool zephyrs of the
bund and the cultural programs at the Necklace Road. Mobile food stalls and
temporary shopping malls were arranged to help people coming from far-off places
and from nearby as well.
The kick-off of the festival was quite like that of the state itself 44 years
ago: very delayed, but delightful when it actually happened. The programs started
off very late - at 8:00pm, well behind the scheduled 6:00pm. But the ardent
lovers of music patiently waited till the program started, and it continued
till very late in the night.
The highlight of the program was the mass congregation of troupes of renowned
artists, from different cultural domains. The program began with the Shobha
Raju's devotional song Kondalalo Nelakonna (in Hindola Ragam), and continued
with bhajans like Chaaladaa Harinama (in Hamsadhwani) and Vishnuvu
Vokkade (in Udaya Ravichandrika). Shobha Raju's troupe consisted of Ramkumar
on the tampura, Vijaynarayana on the veena, Dattatreya on the flute, Vijay Kumar
on the keyboards, Ramana Murthy and Sridhar on tablas, and Venugopal on rhythms.
Her co-Singers were Poornima Sharma, Vasanti, Shravani and Jyothsna.
The eminent mrudangam artist Yella Venkateshwara Rao, accompanied by his pre-eminent
co-artists Anantha Krishna and Peri Sriramamurthy on violins, Seetharamaiah
on the veena, Ramanamurthy on the ghatam, Srinivasa Gopalam on the morsing,
Nagaraju on the flute and Kota Achibabu on the clarinet, presented the "Yella
Music Melody" for an hour, and received a grand applause. Yella's troupe
presented Yendaro Mahanubhavalu, Panchratna Keertana (in Sreeragam)
and Raghuvamsha Sudhambudhi, Kadana Kutuhalam composed by the saint Thyagaraja.
They then sang Ragam Tanam Pallavi (in Ragamaalika) with six melodies:
Keeravani, Kapi, Behag, Sindhu Bhairavi, Hindolum and Revati. Then we had Pibare
Ramarasam by Sadasiva Bramhendru, Adigo Alladivo by Annamacharya,
Paluke Bangaramayena by Ramadasu and Tarangam by Narayana Tirtha,
and concluded with Thillana in the Dhanashree Ragam.
The audience was held spell-bound by the latter's continuous performance for