Watch it, enjoy it, but just don't try this at home.
On the occasion of its 29th anniversary, Kinnera Art Theatres is organising 29 days of Telugu stage dramas from different parts of the state, at Sri Thyagaraya Gana Sabha, from 9th November to 7th December. As part of the 23rd day of celebrations, Bhakta Kannappa is being staged today.
Kannappa is a story of a tribal hero who sacrificed his eyes for the Lord Shiva. A hunter named Tinnappa, after hunting wild animals, used to offer the raw and fresh flesh of the animals to the Linga of Lord Shiva, as he had the habit of eating food only after offering it to the Lord.
One day the Lord wants to put Tinnappa to test. So he makes one of the eyes on the Linga shed tears of blood continuously. Tinnappa thinks that the eye is either diseased or injured by some miscreants. He cannot control the dripping from the eye by any means. Without a second thought, he plucks out his own eyeball with the help of an arrow and fixes it on the diseased eye of the Linga.
The dropping of tears is promptly controlled. But soon water starts dripping from the second eye too. Guided by the first experiment, Tinnappa attempts to pluck out his second eyeball. Realising that he wouldn't be able to see the injured eye of the linga once he gouges out his second eyeball, he puts one of his toes on the diseased eye and his arrow on the eye to pluck out the eyeball.
Pleased with Tinna's devotion, Lord Shiva appears before him and blesses him that he will stay close to the Linga forever. He also restores Tinna's lost eye, and calls him Bhakta Kannappa - meaning the devotee who gave his eyes. An idol of Kannappa is installed near the Linga at Sri Kalahasti, where poojas and offerings are first made to Kannappa and then to the Lord.
The drama is being directed by Nibhanupoodi Subbaraju, and presented by Sumitra Youth Association of Khammam.
Kinnera Art Theatres was started in 1977, and has since organised various programs, including musical nites, classical dances and vocals, felicitations and releases of books. It has served as a platform for many upcoming artistes, and has at the same time provided recognition and appreciation for established ones. Dr R Prabhakar Rao, IPS, is the chairman of the association, while M Raghuram is its dedicated secretary.
Please contact M Raghuram of Kinnera Art Theatres at 98660-57777 for further details.