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`Ghosti ganam' marks Oottukkadu Venkata Kavi Aradhana in Bangalore
BANGALORE, September 29: The second annual Oottukkadu Venkata Kavi Aradhana was presented here on September 20 by Krishna Kalakshetra of ISKON, Bangalore, in association with The International Foundation for Carnatic Music (IFCM).

Conceptualized and co-ordinated by Omkaar Jhankaar, the event was sponsored by Manyata Embassy Business Park, Bangalore.

The aradhana, which included a group rendition of Venkata Kavi’s Saptaratna krtis and a concert by Vidushi Sudha Raghunathan, was a sublime getaway bringing out the musical genius of Venkata Kavi, which blends wisdom and scholarship with soulful emotion. Venkata Kavi (1700-65) remained undiscovered for almost 250 years. Since the middle of the 20th century, however, his creations and contributions have come to occupy an important place in the music and dance world.

The evening got off to a bright start with invocation by students of the IFCM, Bangalore Chapter, trained by Bhargavi Balasubramanian. It was inaugurated by Shri Thiru Prabhu, Director, Krishna Kalakshetra, ISKCON, Chitravina N Ravikiran and Vidushi Smt Neela Ramgopal.

Shri Thiru Prabhu spoke of Venkata Kavi’s devotion to Kaliya Nartana Krishna in Oottukkadu and the wonderful results it had produced to the world of music. He also spoke about the Kavi's place of birth and dwelling, Mannargudi, also known as Dakshina Dwaraka.
The inaugural function was followed by a ghosti ganam (group singing) of the Saptaratna Krtis with Chitravina N Ravikiran. It saw participation from Vidushi Neela Ramgopal’s Neelambari (Bangalore) and Vidushi Sukanya Prabhakar’s Surabhi Gana Kala Mandira (Mysore). Shri Chaitanya Kumar on the flute and Shri Sudarshan on the mrdangam gave support to the rendition. The Saptaratna krtis consist of a pallavi, anupallavi and a series of charanams that can be rendered as swaras and sahityas.

The compositions are:
  • Bhajanamrta – Nattai
  • Aganitamahima – Gowla
  • Madhava hrdi khelini – Kalyani
  • Balasarasa murali – Keeravani
  • Jatadhara – Todi
  • Alavandennalo – Paras
  • Sundara Nandakumara – Madhyamavati
Shri Ravikiran gave a brief introduction to each composition before it was rendered.

This was followed by a concert by Vidushi Smt Sudha Ragunathan, featuring well known compositions of Venkata Kavi. The concert started with Shri Vighnarajam bhaje in Gambheera Naatai. Ati Nirupama Sundara in Pantuvarali showcased some unique features seen in Venkata Kavi’s works. Set in Adi tala, the composition starts in tishra gati but shifts to chaturashra in the charanam. Sudha Raghunathan presented an extensive neraval in the pallavi and laced it with attractive kalpana swaras.

Paalvadiyum Mugam in Nattaikkuranji and Neerada sama neela Krishna in Jayantashri were delightful to listen. A lighter composition, Vishamakkara Kannan, preceded the improvised Mangalam. Shri V.L. Sudarshan, Tiruvarur Shri Vaidyanathan and morsing Shri Raman provided spirited support.