In memorium: naajar
Thu, 20 Mar 1997 14:52:05 EDT

I want to add my share to what sri Jampala wrote about the burrakatha art
and Naazar, the famous burrakathist.

   Burra katha: Jamgam katha, Pambala Katha and Jamukula katha are the
older versions of Burra katha. There is one art named Pichuguntla katha in
between Burra katha and the three cited above. Just like Burra katha,
Pichuguntla katha is also told by the main story teller (kathakudu) using
Dal and Katti and with two vantalu. This one was very famous for palnati
Yuddha charitra. They used to call it as 'Palnati suddulu'. Most of the 
Pichuguntla vallu lived in Kasukurru village, near Ponnur in Guntur dt. They
used to share the villages among themselves for visits. That troup's(3) 
duration of stay from 4 days to 2 weeks depending upon the size of the village.
    It was one of the entertainment for the villagers along with veedhi
bhagavatulu, harikathalu and others in 1940s. They used to come to our
village around Jan. I remember well, all the children used to sit very close
to kathakudu with gavadakatlu ( for the protection of cold) in order to enjoy
his katti jhalipimpulu. I was one among those children. Still, I remember
very well that we used to wait for the sannivesams of BalaChandrudu Yuddham,
Sabbai charitra and Narasingaraju vadha. They used to make reservations for
their lunch and dinner 1 day in advance. I still remember that sentence
"repu mi intlo bhojanalu(sahapatu)". Kathalu purti iaina tarvata,prati intiki
chandaku vacche vallu. Everiki tochindi vallu iccevallu. biyyamo,jonnalo,
varigalo leka dabbulo.

Naazar: is the greatest artist. He became famous after kastajivi katha. He
exhibited his real talent in kastajivi. That made him so great. Those were
the days of Communist movement(1946 to 1951). He was at his highest peak at
that time. His kastajivi burra katha used to be schduled before the big
meetings. B. Gopalam's inspirational songs and Naazar's burra katha used to
attract large gatherings and move the audience. I watched him in action atleast
7 or 8 times. If my rememberance is correct, Peddanna was his Rajakeeyam and
Ramakoti was his hasyagadu for some time. I think, after some time they left.
Peddanna and RamaKoti were also very good. Those three were the members of
Praja Natyamandali. I think,he born in Garapadu village which is located 8
miles south of Guntur and 4 miles north of my village. After 1950, he
concentrated on Palnati Yuddham and Bobbili Yuddham. I am paying my tributes
for his great contribution to the art and movement.

    In this context, I want to make one comment. It is our responsibility to
continue our support for the ancient arts. Only, big conventions like TANA
can afford to support such kind of arts. Unfortunately, the TANA leadership
instead of encouraging our ancient arts, leaning towards spending
money for inviting and bringing the most corrupted politicians, 
and cine artists. All of you know how much warm welcome was given to
the corrupted politicians on the stage in 1993 New York convention,ignoring
the selfless leader like Vavilala GopalaKrishnaiah and messing up the whole
schedule and how much money spent on Chiranjivi for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I
hope, at least '97 convention will move in right direction.

with regards,
SambaSivaRao Kotapati.