/* START Google Analytics Code*/ /* END of Google Analytics Code */ A home called "Parvathi": In Memoriam 2011: Kunigal Puttu Rao - 1

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In Memoriam 2011: Kunigal Puttu Rao - 1

The son, Mr. K. Srikantiah, is the direct and last surviving relative of Sri K. Puttu Rao and is, by himself, well into the Octogenarian years.

You would think, at his age, that Mr. Srikantiah would choose the comfort of a quiet life nestling mostly with one's own grandchildren. But, no, that’s not for him. He has soaked up Carnatic Music (CM) all his life, with its world of great composers and artists like no other. He is what you call a living encyclopedia to all of CM’s hallowed memories. So, what does such a person do? He dives in again, into that same world where he once lived supreme; he wants to work in that same universe of music’s joys and share the rewards of that joy freely with everyone. This time he wants to do it with a difference. He feels, he owes everything in life to the memory of a father. It is his ‘tarpanam’ to a hallowed name. He now wants to invite the world to a musical sequence of five days in the company of some great maestros, to the redoubtable sanctuary of the famous Jagan Mohan Palace of Mysore.

The venue is a 150 year old Palace!
The coronation of H.H. Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV
was held here in 1902.
The Viceroy and Governor-General of India,
Lord Curzon, too, attended that ceremony.

So, here is Mr. Srikantiah's invitation. Please find it issued to all of our gentle readers who may find themselves in Mysore, from August 31 to September 4, 2011, and lucky enough to find a seat in the auditorium.

( click on photo to magnify )

Mr. Srikantiah has chosen some eminent and elderly names, to preside over this occasion. They are India's, Karnataka's and Mysore's very distinguished sons such as Dr. SL Bhyrappa who is regarded as one of India's most powerful and award winning novelists in the last twenty five years. Joining him are Mr. Krishna Vattam, another powerful journalistic voice for over six decades whom we have mentioned before in our blog. The third distinguished member to grace the opening is none other than revered Mr. M.A. Sampath Iyengar Esq. President Emeritus of Mysore's famous National Institute of Engineering (NIE) Rounding up the group, will be another distinguished personality, Mr. K.B. Ganapathy, Law Graduate and Founder of Mysore's famous newspapers, Star of Mysore and the Mysore Mithra.

Our salutations to all four of them and to the very distinguished artists !

( click on photo to magnify )

Mr. Srikantiah, wants to open with none other than the Indian Mandolin Prodigy U. Srinivas. In a lot of ways, Sri. Srikantiah admires Srinivas, not only for the artiste’s genius but for his rare humility (“God has given him everything! Yet, look at that grace and respect towards others, particularly towards elders! ”). We have remarked elsewhere in our blog, that Srinivas first came to the attention of Mr. Srikantiah at a tender, shy age of nine. He came many a time afterwards to perform in “Parvathi”.

This is U. Shrinivas (video below) performing an enthralling piece in “Parvathi”, in 1985, at a youthful age of 16!

Before that, we bring you the viewpoint of our own brilliant 'Rasika' R.Sachi on this segment of the music.

"August brings the start of famous Indian festivals. The incomparable story of Krishna's birth, in a prison at midnight amidst a monsoon deluge, is the basis of a big celebration. Soon comes the month of Bhaadrapada, with the sun starting to peep out of dark monsoon clouds. And on Chaturthi, the fourth day, the ever-delightful god of auspicious starts, Lord Ganesha, is installed and worshipped by the devout. This is tellingly pictured by Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar in the hugely popular song, Siddhi Vinayakam in Shanmukhapriya. The raga, the lyric, and the tempo always kindle a concert and take it to great heights. Dikshitar's songs like Siddhi Vinayakam and Vatapi Ganapathim are very popular, but musicians know how difficult it is to do justice to them, replete as they are with lyrical grandeur, musical richness and a taut tempo. Especially for instruments, they are always a challenge.

So consider this on the mandolin. A bubbling teenager cast a spell with this opening piece 25 years ago in Parvathi. We are happy to share this video with you, of the grand opening by Mandolin Shrinivas. The accompanists look absolutely delighted, especially Sri Vellore Ramabhadran.

The song itself is noteworthy in describing how sattvic are the worshipers of Lord Ganesha. After all, he is totally bereft of violent temper and desire ( raudrabhAva rahitam dAsa janahRdaya virAjitam rauhiNEyAnujArccitam IhanA varjitam )".