KOCHI: For the first time in 48 years, KJ Yesudas, who has touched millions of souls with his soulful singing, will miss Mookambika darshan on his birthday. The legendary singer, who attributes his divine voice as a blessing from Goddess Mookambika, had made it a ritual to offer prayers at Kollur Mookambika Temple in Karnataka along with his family and present a musical tribute to the goddess on January 10, every year.
Stuck in Dallas, USA, due to the Covid restrictions, the maestro is upset that he will not be able to offer prayers at Mookambika. Though he will not be physically present at the temple, his voice will reach the goddess. Yesudas has made arrangements to webcast his musical recital and arrange a screen at the Saraswathi Mandapam of the temple to offer his tributes to the goddess.
“He rang me up on Wednesday night. He was concerned that he will not be able to have darshan of Goddess Mookambika. Yesudas said he will light a lamp in his pooja room at Dallas and sing ‘Vaani Vagadheeswari’, the Carnatic song paying tributes to the deity. Even two months ago he had told me that we will meet at Mookambika temple on January 10,” said lyricist R K Damodaran who shares a rare bond with the musician.
Last year, Yesudas came to Mookambika with the entire family including wife Prabha and sons Vinod, Vijay and Vishal. “He arrived at Kollur on January 9, and offered prayers during deeparadhana. Next day morning, he had darshan at the temple and sang a keerthanam paying tributes to the goddess. In the afternoon we had a sadya at the house of chief archak Govinda Adigal. Thousands of Yesudas fans had flocked to the temple to greet him and he decided to stay back. He left on January 11,” reminisced Damodaran.
Govinda Adiga too is sad that he will not be able to greet his friend on his birthday. “Yesudas has informed us that he will not be able to come on Sunday. But I will be conducting special poojas for him,” said Adiga.
Musician Kanjangad Ramachandran, who started the Yesudas Sangeethotsavam at Mookambika temple in 2000, has decided to conduct the festival as usual from 6am to 6pm on Sunday. “Musicians from various parts of the state will participate in the programme and ‘Dasettan’ will webcast a keerthanam on the occasion. We will set up a screen at the Saraswathi Mandapam to broadcast his recital,” he said.