The moment a book reading session was announced by Vanamala Center for Art and Culture, in association with IGNCA – Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, I was very much excited to attend the same as the reading was from a book which I was very keen about reading. It is a book written by the great composer and musician Sri Mysore Vasudevacharya, and the speaker was dearest Meera ma’am and it was an interactive session.

The book Naa kanda kalavidaru, published in 1955 is one of the earliest books written in Kannada. It talks about the life and contribution of 11 great Karnataka Music composers and musicians. It also narrates very interesting episodes, anecdotes connected to these musicians. The preface of the book was written by one of the greatest poets of Kannada D.V Gundappa.

The event began with a wonderful invocation. The perfect kriti was chosen Pahi Krishna Vasudeva in the Raga Behag. It was presented beautifully by Vid Ragini Sanath. Dr.Archana Bhat, Advisory board member of Vanamala Center for Art and Culture welcomed everyone. Kum Shruti spoke on behalf of IGNCA.

The reading session enlightened me regarding the artist’s musical journey, their personality and their life which inspired me a lot.

The book talks about Sri Veene Sheshanna. It also mentions Sri Adappayya, who could play one raga on the veene and sing another raga simultaneously, which is very interesting. This showcases the amount of practice and control he had.

Sri Vasudevacharya talks about how he mastered the Shakarabharana atta tala varna on a train journey from Sri Veene Sheshanna. This showcases his determination and concentration. This also demonstrates that when being dishonoured, take it up as a challenge.

He also speaks about Veena Subbanna, Bidaram Krishnappa who used to culture his voice like penance, Ramanad Srinivasa Iyengar popularly known as Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar, Muguru Subbanna, Patnam Subrahmanya Iyer, Muttiah Bhagavatar, Tiger Varadachar, and others.

There was an open discussion session after the reading. Vid Kamala Balaji, Vice President, Vanamala Center for Art and Culture, shared a few words about her experience meeting Mysore K Vasudecharya in person when she was a kid. This was very interesting and showcased how simple Sri Vasudecharya was and she concluded with Vote of thanks followed by delicious lunch.  

All these stories and incidents, the experiences of these eminent composers and musicians inspire me to take up practice very seriously, have dedication and perseverance. It teaches not to go behind success, the thirst for knowledge and striving to gain the same makes success follow you.

This reading session was one of a kind. Waiting for the next one – Nagashree Narayan