In the days of yore, when DD was the main channel on TV, do you remember watching the pre- 5 'o' clock telugu programs? Between the ones about agriculture and dung-treatment, were the burrakathas - colorfully dressed storytellers, singing songs in booming voices, accompanied by drummers who added embellishments. So what were these burrakathas all about?
Burra literally means the Tambura that sits on the shoulder of the main singer. He sings out the story while dancing rhythmically, forward and backwards to it. He also beats the song tempo with a ring in the right palm of his hand. The two drummers beat a 'dakki' (a two faced drum), while one makes a political commentary on the story being told, and the other injects humor. This leads to them being referred to as 'rajkiya' and 'hasyam' singers respectively. The performance often lasts for days.
Mohd. Babji and party have done over 6000 Burrakatha performances over the past 30 years. Apart from all the states in India (excluding the newly formed Chattisgarh, Uttaranchal and Jharkand), they have been invited to sing in festivals at France, Holland, Mauritius, Spain etc.
On the 5th of February, they will be performing Bobbiliyuddham at Ravindra Bharati. The 'rajakiyam' will be sung by Md. Babji Sr, while the 'hasyam' will be sing by Balasubramaniam.
For further details, please contact Dept. of Culture at 2324-2482.