A literary treat
“Bhuvana Vijayam’ showcases greatness of the language.
Royal court Artistes enacting the role of poets.
As part of the ongoing Telugu Bhasha Mahotsava, being jointly organised by the Department of Culture and Kinnera Art Theatres at Thyagaraja Gana Sabha, a literary feature titled, Bhuvana Vijayam, was presented by poets and theatre personalities gathering under the name of Diwakarla Vedika, named after the late scholar and poet Dr. Diwakarla Venkatavadhani. Diwakarla was the first poet to stage this in Hyderabad for the first time, playing the role of Allasani Peddana. Some of the participants in this literary feature have doctorates in Telugu.
They enacted the roles of eight court poets, named Ashta Diggajas of the royal court of Srikrishna Devaraya of Vijayanagara Empire.
Their looks were changed a bit with each one of them wearing a traditional talapaga (headwear), while Vanam Sankarayya was made up to look like emperor Srikrishna Devaraya. Krishnadevaraya’s minister Timmarusu’s role was played by Prof. Mudigonda Sivaprasad. Dr. Yellapragada Ramakrishna Rao in the role of Allasani Peddana, Ayyadevara Purushothama Rao as Nandi Timmana, Tirumala Srinivasacharyulu as Pingali Surana, M. Amarnatha Sarma as Dhurjati, A.C.B. Sastry as Bhattumurthy, Tangirala Subba Rao as Ayyalaraju Ramabhadrudu, P. Srinivasa Rao as Madayyagari Mallana and Eranki Srimannarayana as Tenali Ramakrishna played these eight Diggajas (great poets) of the court.
The feature opened with a small discourse by Srikrishna Devaraya, pouring a lot of praise on his poets and on Telugu language. Bhuvana Vijaya Sabha was said to be a poetic celebration, marking the conquest of various kingdoms by the emperor.
The king also asserts that he is struggling to protect the land and its language, Telugu, with the blessings of his minister, Appaji (Timmarusu’s other name) and the presiding deity of his kingdom, Virupaksha.
The dialogue and the rendition of some of the verses from his work, Amuktamalyada, went to the share of Vanam Sankarayya who did it well. That was the time for his minister Timmarusu to introduce the poets (for the benefit of viewers) and request they read out some of the verses from their celebrated works.
The rest of the drama showed how each of these poets from Peddana down to Tenali Ramakrishna rendered some well-known verses from their works.
The audience enjoyed every bit of the rendition of these verses. The works included Peddana’s Manucharitra, Nandi Timmana’s Parijathapaharanam, Pingali Surana’s Kala Poornodayam, Dhoorjati Kavi’s Srikalahasti Mahatmyam, Bhattumurti’s Vasucharitra (rendered in theatrical fashion in classical ragas), Ayyalagari Ramabhadrudu’s Sri Ramabhyudayam, Madayagarigari Mallana’s Rajasekhara Charitra and Tenali Ramakrishna’s Panduranga Mahatmyam. The latter had the responsibility of entertaining his audience with some observations in lighter vein for which Tenali Ramakrishna was known. It was then the turn of Sri Krishna Devaraya too to render a verse from his Amuktamalyada at the request of the poets. The verse he chose was partly in Sanskrit.
The event was a good opportunity for the present generation to realise how great the Telugu language was then. US-based NRI, Vanguri Chittenraju, the chief guest at the function, felicitated all the artistes with a shawl, a garland and a memento.
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