Gurajada Sphoorthi Utsavam at India House

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Consul General Harish with participants

HOUSTON: Mahakavi Sri Gurajada Apparao was a renowned poet, writer and social reformer born in 1862 at Rayavaram village, Andhra Pradesh. The lines, ‘Desamante matti kaadoyi, desamante manushuloyi’, from his famous patriotic song,  ‘Desamunu Preminchumanna’ ,   composed in 1910 meant, ‘A country is not made of land; a country is made of its people’. Mahakavi also wrote the first Telugu play, Kanyasulkam, often considered the greatest play in Telugu language that got translated to 40 different languages including Russian. Gurajada Foundation, USA whose mission is to spread Mahakavi’s ‘Sphoorthi’ and philosophy, had organized ‘Gurajada Sphoorthi Utsavam’ a cultural program and essay competitions  to celebrate Mahakavi’s 152nd birthday. This memorable event was held on Saturday, October 11, at India House, Houston. Mahakavi’s auspicious program was very appropriately started with melodious rendering of  Lord Ganesha by Adarsh Menon, a winner of several music awards.

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Several Teacher and professional singers receiving appreciation

‘Swagatam’ by Sangeetshiromani award recipient, Smt. Madhura Sankar’s students invited the audience to enjoy this unique program. With great inspiration from Mahakavi’s  philosophy of ‘A country is not made of land; a country is made of its people’, several children and renowned former All India Radio artistes like Sangeet Visharad Smt. Soumya Rege and Smt.  Mangala Sane sang patriotic songs from several Indian languages and submitted essays on social reformers of India.  Mahakavi’s ‘Desamunu Preminchumana’  that meant ‘ Love Your Country’ and other patriotic songs, ‘Vande Mataram, Ekla Cholo Re, ‘ Bande Utkala Janini’, ‘Bahu Asot Sundar Sampanna’, ‘Hum Honge Kamiyaab’, ‘Ilaya Bharatham Iniya Bharatham’,etc  were sung enthusiastically by children and professional artistes. Vidushi  Smt Rajarajeshwary Bhat students sang Kannada patriotic song, ‘Bharat Maata’, Versatile artiste, Smt. Mani Sastry, sang Mahakavi’s poem and Sri Devulapalli Sastry’s composition.

Sri Sitaram Ayyagari’s  students sang Mahakavi’s beautiful composition and other memorable songs. Smt Pranavi Sadhanala , former TV anchor,  along with her students performed a beautiful dance ‘Desam Manade’ which meant that for BharatMaatha all her children are equal that resonated the words of Mahakavi Gurajada.  Binshnupur Gharana’s Shamik Boseji and his students sang Tagoreji’s song. Hindi Patriotic song, ‘Chhodo kal ki baaten’, sung by Hindi school students summarized the spirit of Gurajada Foundation’s Utsavam celebrations. Mahakavi’s great granddaughter, Chandralekha Kovvali, spoke eloquently about Mahakavi and his correspondence with Tagoreji , Yates and other literary figures from India and abroad that reflected  on the Mahakavi’s respect and passion for all languages. Consul General of  India, Shri Harishji, attended the event and enjoyed listening to children sing patriotic songs including Mahakavi’s Desamunu Preminchumana  that was melodiously sung by Smt.  Manjula Palivela’s students of Silicon Andhra Telugu School.

Sri Harishji delivered a very motivational inspiring speech on this memorable occasion and requested children to understand the meaning of the desabhakthi song’ Desamunu Preminchumana’.  Sangeet Natak Academi winner and Artistic Director of Anjali Center for Performing Arts, Dr. Rathna Kumar, was awarded Gurajada Foundation’s prestigious Gurajada Sphoorthi Ratna award for her outstanding contribution to spreading Indian culture and Heritage.

Gurajada Foundation’s ( prestigious Gurajada Seva Sphoorthi Award was presented to Dr. Chandrasekhar Gannavarapu for his outstanding service to Gurajada Foundation. The song ‘Hum Honge Kamiyaab’ sung at this event very aptly conveyed the message that all of us will live in peace and make this world a beautiful place to live in.