MANGALURU: This 65-year-old woman from Mangaluru has been keeping the rich tradition of Tulunadu alive for more than 40 years. Timmakka from Kuthar, around 15 km away from Mangaluru, is one of the few women in coastal Karnataka who continue to sing Tulu ‘Kabithas’, ‘Paddanas’ (ballads), ‘Madira’, ‘Natti’ (paddy field) and other folk songs which are fast disappearing.
Popularly known as Kutharu Timmakka, she was born in Vitla. Belonging to Nalike community, she has been continuing the tradition of ‘Aati Kalenja’, a traditional dance form of Tulunadu and also Madira in the coastal region along with her family-based at Kuthar.
Aati Kalenja, which has a connection with changes in nature due to weather is observed in July and August. Timmakka’s son Raghava performs the ‘Aati Kalenja’ dance and Timmakka, who is an illiterate sings Paddanas and her energy level defies her age even today.
“Today’s generation does not know anything about Paddanas or any folk songs. The rich tradition is on the verge of extinction and it is alive only in some parts of rural areas,” she says.