Rama nee namam me enthu ruchira … is true at all times. Rama is a small word and many begin and end their day with his name. No Music or Dance concert is complete without including a couple of Bhakta Sri Ramadasu keertanas. If an entire day is dedicated to Bhakta Ramadasu in a year and specially titled ‘Antha Ramamayam’ it is literally Antha Ramamayam. The Main Hall of Ravindra Bharathi came alive with compositions of the great Saint of Telangana on 16 June 2022 when 20 Music and Dance Gurus and 180 participants extolled the virtue of Sri Rama in beautiful compositions of Bhakta Ramadasu in solo and group singing touching many hearts in the way.
Speaking exclusively to Natyahasini, the older sister of the Sangeetha Sisters – Sangeetha Kala, says it would be a great honour to Bhakta Ramadasu, a Saint from Telangana, if the Government of Telangana approves the Antha Ramamayam Project as a Regular Classical Music project to conduct regular programmes all over the State, involving many Gurus and participants. She shares that the Antha Ramamayam Project was held this year offline at Ravindra Bharathi, in association with Dept. of Language & Culture, Govt. of Telangana. “We are into the Seventh year now and this Project had been conceived by Dr. K Ramana Chary Garu, (IAS. Retd.) and brought forward under the banner of Sri Kodanda Pani Sangeeth Vidya Samastha, Hyderabad, in 2016. This year 20 Gurus and 180 participants from all over Telangana and Andhra Pradesh took part,” she says.
Sangeetha sisters founded the Sri Kodanda Pani Sangeeth Vidya Samastha, Hyderabad, in memory of their paternal grandfather, who was a Music Director and musician. On the journey of Antha Ramamayam Project, Sangeetha Kala says that in 2016, they conducted competitions in 10 districts and at the State-level. “In 2017, Ramadasu Keertanas Prachara Yatra was conducted in all the 31 districts of Telangana. Also, Digital Music Classes were held in T-SAT Govt. Channel. The project also had a prime spot at Prapancha Telugu Maha Sabha Prog in 2017, and in 2019, the Antha Ramamayam Project flag flew high in Malaysia, thanks to the Malaysian Telugu Association and Indian Centre, Malaysia,” she says.
In 2019, Sangeetha Sisters performed on Doordarshan, as part of the Sri Rama Navami celebrations and at the Telangana Bhawan, New Delhi. “We have conducted over 60 workshops all over Telangana,” says the musician. Sangeetha Kala says that during the COVID period of two-years, the Project was not shelved, but taken online and many from the US and other countries joined in the praise of Sri Rama.
The artist adds that they had provided music accompaniments to the various participants at the Hyderabad event this year. “When we began the project, it was only Music, but added Dance in 2018, and since then many Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dancers have taken part in the event,” she says. Sangeetha Kala agrees that Group Performance is a challenge and very powerful as all artists, whether musicians or dancers, have to perform in cohesion. “No doubt solos are also wonderful as the concerned artist takes you on a musical journey. The Rasikas also get a chance to hum along with the group or solos, making the music very pleasing,” she says.
When questioned about not singing for the movies, Sangeetha Kala says that they would, if a right project comes their way.