It was a heartening sight to watch an ensemble of disciples from different batches descend on the Guntakal town of Anantapur district from different parts of the Telugu states to felicitate their adored teacher par excellence Dr Asavadi Prakasa Rao on Sunday, 29 Jan 2017 in the auditorium of the Hindi Maha Vidyalaya. Dr Asavadi is an Ashta-Avadhani, a literary acrobat with extempore skills of improvisation of poetry coupled with photographic memory and the faculty of quick retrieval and recitation – a prerequisite of this classical literary art of Avadhanam. An academic, Dr Asavadi was a government college lecturer in Telugu who retired as Principal of a degree college. He is a prolific writer with 48 books to his credit, and is in demand in the Telugu states for his literary expositions, promotion of classical poetry, encouragement of needy writers and students, and his service toward social harmony.
The programme was formally inaugurated by Dr Md Sadik, Principal of the Hindi Maha Vidyalaya.
There were two literary sessions besides an art exhibition, recitation of poetry, performance of Kuchipudi dance and a musical exposition.
In the forenoon session, Prakasa Pradeepanam, a compilation of articles on the life and work of Dr Asavadi by 76 writers was unveiled.
While U Atreya Sarma, Chief Editor of Muse India, presided over the inaugural session; the chief guest was S Chandra Rao, MD of Integrated CoolTech, Hyderabad. The book was unveiled by multilingual poet Ch Vijaya Kumar. Bolugadde Anil Kumar reviewed the book from various angles; and Dr Modugula Subba Rao coordinated the session. M Vishnu Priya rendered the prayer song besides later on singing a long Annamaiah melody.
The afternoon session saw the launch and review of Kanakabhishekam, a book of poems celebrating the rare honour conferred on Dr Asavadi with a shower of golden petals on 25 Dec 2014 in Hyderabad. It was chaired by poet Annamaraju Prabhakara Rao; while P Hussain Saheb reviewed the work written by Onteddu Ramalinga Reddy.
In both the sessions, the dignitaries and the speakers dwelt on the literary prowess, friendliness, simplicity, humility and philanthropy of Dr Asavadi.
The battery of disciples and well-wishers who spoke on the occasion included Narahari Satyabhama and M Rama Narasimha Rao.
* The full-day programme was preceded by a folk-art exhibition by accomplished artists Gollapalli Jayanna and his consort Manjula Rani.
* K Sweta a university student and A Maneesha a college student read out poems from Loka-leela-abhisuktam by Dr Asavadi and regaled the assembly with their melodious rendition. Mallipudi Ravichandra, a university scholar conducted the recitation session.
* U Atreya Sarma gave away his Pratibha Bharati award with a cheque of Rs 5,000 to the meritorious & needy student K Swetha pursuing her MA (Telugu) at University of Hyderabad.
* The young girl Jayasruthi, granddaughter of Dr Asavadi, entertained the gathering with her Kuchipudi dance.
* The audience were enthralled by the musical exposition by Surabhi Vanarasa Ramamohana Rao. He was duly honoured by EO Ramudu, General Secretary, Sri Paranjyoti Nataka Kala Samiti.
Finally, Dr Asavadi Prakasa Rao, the hero of the event was befittingly felicitated by a galaxy of his devoted disciples under the leadership of Narahari Satyabhama. The other students were BVK Chalapati, S Umamahesh, AS Prabhakara Rao, Akula Venkatesulu, V Obula Murty and Dr Modugula Subba Rao. Other admirers from the town of Guntakal too pitched in to honour Dr Asavadi.
The programme came to a close with the vote of thanks by M Rama Narasimha Rao.
Report by: U Atreya Sarma, who took part in the meeting.
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