Immerse in Krishna’s joy

Hyderabadis can revel in the joy and sweetness of Krishna Tattva at this two-day cultural event organised at Saptaparni, Jubilee Hills on September 2 and 3
Curated by Sahitya Madabhushi, this mega-event is the first of its kind in Hyderabad, bringing together various performers to commemorate Krishna's essence in anticipation of Janmashtami.
Curated by Sahitya Madabhushi, this mega-event is the first of its kind in Hyderabad, bringing together various performers to commemorate Krishna's essence in anticipation of Janmashtami.

HYDERABAD: Akhilam Madhuram, a two-day cultural event celebrating the essence and spirit of Lord Krishna, will be organized at Saptaparni, Jubilee Hills on September 2 and 3. The event will feature a wide range of activities and performances, including art workshops, storytelling, singing, dancing, and more. Curated by Sahitya Madabhushi, this mega-event is the first of its kind in Hyderabad, bringing together various performers to commemorate Krishna's essence in anticipation of Janmashtami.

"We've been preparing for this event for the past three months. In places like Chennai and Karnataka, we see a rich cultural heritage with strong attendance at such gatherings. In Hyderabad, it's been somewhat lacking. Our goal is to introduce a cultural experience where people can come and participate. While there are numerous meet-ups in the city, such as art gatherings, we wanted to contribute to something more traditional and cultural," said Sahitya. The event will span both days and feature a mix of paid and free performances and workshops. "What's great is that there's something for everyone, from a 90-year-old to a nine-month-old," Sahitya added.

The event will commence on September 2 with Radha Kalyanam, a divine wedding of Radha and Krishna in the Thoday Mangalam style. This performance will feature Abhinayam by JS Eswar Prasad and JS Paresh providing the vocals. Following that, there will be a discourse on the relevance of the Bhagwad Gita in daily life, presented by Sarath Krishna, along with a musical rendition by Santoshi Nallanchakravarthula.

In addition to these performances, there will be concurrent all-day events and workshops. The event will also feature stalls and activities, including a Cheriyal painting workshop by artist D Rakesh Varma on both days.

Storyteller Uma Challa will be narrating captivating stories from Krishna Leela. She explained, "We're creating an entire scene depicting Krishna's birth and the events in his village, which itself is a fascinating story. On one side, we'll showcase his Bala Leelas, stories from his childhood, and on the other side, we'll present stories from his youth, spanning from Kurukshetra to Rukmini Kalyanam. Each incident in Krishna's life will be portrayed through dolls. Typically, we only display dolls during Sankranti and Navaratri festivals and different regions have their versions. This serves as the backdrop for our storytelling."

"As for the stories, we can always talk about the traditional narratives, but Krishna's life is much more than that. We envision Him as one of us—a friend or companion. Our stories will reflect that perspective. How do we internalise the essence of Krishna? We see Him as a baby, a toddler, a child, and a youth—communicating with us, imparting lessons and messages. In everyone's life, he plays a unique role. In the Mahabharata, He is someone's brother, brother-in-law, charioteer, guru, son and nephew and in each of these forms, He brought joy and wisdom. He offered life's teachings at different stages," she elaborated.

In addition to the stories and dolls, there will be an activity table for kids, where they can enjoy colouring, clay modelling, and more. Uma Challa also mentioned, "We have a Krishna quiz and a map for marking Krishna’s kshetras. Attendees will receive takeaway gifts, including a small pouch with marbles representing different worlds." While performers showcase their acts, there are also segments where the audience can actively participate in the performances. One such segment is Padyaavadhaanam, which involves exploring Krishna's divine tales through traditional Telugu poems by Dr Meegada Ramalinga Swamy. In this interactive session, the audience will provide their inputs on the ragam (musical mode), and the poet will sing the composition in that specific ragam. Furthermore, the poet will elucidate the meaning and the spiritual essence (tattva) behind the poem.

Additionally, Anupama Kylash will premiere her dance performance, Gopala Thapini centred on Radha-Krishna Tattva and Ramyashree will captivate the audience with her soulful bhajans from various regions of India.

On September 3, following an invite-only Gosti Gaanam, there will be Madhava Mamava, a rich and layered performance lasting one and a half hours. This performance will showcase the devotion of various vaggaekaras (composers) through the centuries. It will be presented by Dr Ramaprabha Yerramilli, a Carnatic music vocalist and the chairperson of AMS College of Fine Arts and Media Education. Dr Yerramilli will sing approximately seven to eight compositions by various vaggaekaras. Accompanying her, actress and dancer Ashrita Vemuganti will interpret these compositions through dance.

Discussing the event and her performance, Dr Ramaprabha Yerramilli said, “Akhilam Madhuram signifies that everything is as sweet as Krishna Tattva and this sweetness will be expressed through various forms such as dance, Rama sangeetram, Krishna sangeetram, bhajans, ashtavadhanam, folk arts, and more. Madhava Mamava is derived from Narayan Teertha’s Tharangam. He is known for his dance-based compositions. My responsibility is to ensure that every element of music, including rhythm, tone, and composition, harmonises to create a holistic experience filled with the joy associated with Krishna. The term tharangam means ‘churning,’ symbolising the extraction of the butter of joy from the musical essence. The performance will feature an ambience with gopikas dancing on the side, creating an overall experience of joy and sweetness."

The event's only artist from Chennai, Rakesh Raghunathan, will present sacred temple offerings and explore their rich culinary heritage in his own inimitable style that blends music with cooking. There will be also a Carnatic Fusion band performance with the singer Ganesh going live on Sunday evening.

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