Patience pays! It finally has for V Narsimha Rao. 42 years after establishing
Navya Nataka Samiti, his contributions to the city's art scene have finally been
acknowledged - his reluctance notwithstanding. The day chosen for the purpose
couldn't have been better - it was his birthday, the 71st. The humble man that
he is, Narsimha Rao chose to remain behind the scenes, but members of the organization
decided that it was about time that they acknowledged his efforts.
Veteran musician Nookala Chinna Satyanarayana felicitated Narasimha Rao and bestowed the title of Samskritikoddharaka (one who strives to keep the culture and heritage aglow). Prof G V Subramanyam and Pothuri Venkateswara Rao presided over the felicitation function and recalled many of Narasimha Rao's yeomen services, especially the All India Music and Dance Competitions that have propelled many a dancer into the limelight, not just in the city but across the country. He is also credited with the organization of the first ever writers' conference, with almost every dignitary participating, and also with the first World Telugu Conference, now 40 years on.
It was just right to round off the evening with a lively, traditional theater act. C S R Kalamandir staged this play, deriving excerpts from the celebrated drama "Sri Krishna Rayabaram" of Tirupati Venkata Kavulu. Akkiraju Sundaryulu enacted the role of Krishna, who becomes a mediator for Pandavas to negotiate truce with the Kauravas. Venkatacharyalu enacted the powerful character of Duryodhana, who dares to rebuff Krishna.
In typically stylized and literary Telugu, the play still attracts audiences for its intense dialogue delivery and props, including period costumes. There was a host of other characters like Aswathama, Dhritarastra, Karna, etc. enacted by Nagireddy, Venkata Subbarao and Warrior Shivaji among others.
On the second evening of the festival, Kuchipudi dancer Madhavi Mala staged a leisurely recital. Madhavi is a common presence on the Telugu channels, anchoring for various shows. She is a disciple of Guru Uma Rama Rao, and carries that effortless style of 'lasya'. After her dance that depicted the regular images of Gods, classical heroes and heroines, a Delhi based Veena artist, Ramavarapu Madhuri Devi, gave a lyrical stringed show, marking the culmination of the festival.