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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A scholarly gift: Bunch of Javalis

Book release by Shri Palagummi Viswanatham
When Dr. Pappu Venugopala Rao visits Hyderabad, he does so with great elan. After giving his gracious presence at the event in tribute to Shri Gantasala Venkateswara Rao in the city, he swapped roles to play a host on the book release function of his latest priced contribution – Bunch of Javalis.

Another addition to the already filled basket of over 18 books that have come out of his pen, this was no surprise. The event held at the ever soothing backyard of Saptaparni had a scholarly presence, wore a scholarly character and conducted in a scholarly gait.

Doyen of music composition Shri Palagummi Viswanatham lent his esteemed presence and put many a youngsters into shame with his sheer child like enthusiasm at the age of 93. He was nothing short of an embodiment of Javalis himself, recalling and churning out Javalis one after the other right from the time of Balasaraswathi to Uday Shankar to the ones he composed music for. And wishes came galore for the current effort!

Dr. S.Chellappa, though calling himself an odd bureaucrat amongst an artistic gathering did full justice to his presence with his interesting anecdotes and massaging the ego of artistes!

Kala Krishna speaking on the occasion
Dr. Anuradha Jonalagadda who received the first copy after its release shared the importance of the book to students of dance, and the fan following and reputation that Dr. Pappu enjoys with the student community. A detailed enumeration by Andhra Natyam exponent Kala Krishna followed, who reviewed the book as an exposition. He stressed the need for a book of this kind (being in English) benefitting readers across the globe. The book has a transliteration, translation and musical notations of the Javalis with word to word meanings and the gist given very aptly, details to the extent of composers and the time of compositions, and above all this an audio CD to aid an already limping fraternity of dancers!

Dr Pappu Venugopala Rao on his new book
Dr. Pappu with his taunt humour explained the need of another book in an era where the existing books do not find readers. He seconded Kala Krishna’s view of it being a useful tool for non-Telugu artistes.

What was very touching was his mention that these writers penned such gems at a time when the world was evolving. Contrastingly today what with the numerous gadgets, technology and facilities, all we are trying to do is to restore, revive and revisit these monumental works and look at the amount of effort it takes!

The book had an early bird discount for the attendees and is priced currently at Rs. 800/-. Dr. Pappu Venugopala Rao can be reached at http://www.pappuvenugopalarao.com