Monday, February 18, 2013

Views on the family meet -


I wish we have more family meets, at lest for the seniors to meet and recall their younger days.  The younger generation do not have time to talk to elder or their family members, but has plenty of time to send messages to unknown people.

Digumarthi Hanumantha rao



After being in cold storage for over seven years the Damerla family meet finally came off during the three days of Sankranti this year, 2013, in Pune at Daamini, home of Nani and Sesh.  It ended up mostly as the senior citizens meet.  The younger lot in their 20s and 30s were all too busy earning their living.  For some with jobs, festival days are never off as their customers want to buy things on auspicious days.  One shining exception is Sandy, who chose to take leave.

The “family” was enlarged to include every one willing to connect with the family name.  Most came on Jan 13th, Bhogi day morning and left on the 15th  evening.  13th lunch was good fun with all in, except for Mallimadugula Prasad and Subhadra who came late in the evening from Mumbai where they went for a quick visit to their daughter Neha.  She works for Femina, and was so busy working and interviewing film stars she hardly spent any time with her parents and could not come to Pune with them as her interview with Deepika Padukone was incomplete and the deadline was looming large on her head.  That’s one example of how busy the younger lot are!  The elders have pain here and pain there and the bacchas have jobs to keep them away from family meets.

That evening we had bhogi manta and invited Rani's sambandhin and two other couples related to us - one is Parker's cousin and the other is Sesh's cousin to join and share the fun.  The bhogi manta was great, even for our domestic help and the gardener and more so for the under ten Rahil and Meghna, Swapna’s son and Madhu’s daughter.  These two kids had more excitement when they joined in cutting Balu’s birthday cake, an event which they took over with enthusiasm and eagerness which only they can come up with at their delightful age.

With two neighbours across the street from Daamini lending bedrooms it was almost like staying together and helped in spending most of the waking hours together.

The next morning we took our own time lingering over breakfast and left at 10 in a chartered bus for the 70 km ride to Lavasa, a brand new town planned well and built well - it will continue being built - in a picturesque valley.  We had a super lunch, saw a video presentation on the town and went on a boat ride.  The whole town is a private affair - no government, no municipality - so even the boats are state of the art, like everything else, including the intra-city bus stops made of glass.  We got back as dusk was falling, it falls a bit late in Pune as the earth needs a little more time to chase the sun in the western part of the country.  As some people were scheduled to leave the next day before dinner, we had a celebratory Sankranti dinner with champagne and made more noise than the previous night.

For most of us the fun ended after lunch on Kanuma day.  Everybody wanted a typical Marathi meal and Venky proclaimed his intention to host it.  So we all happily trooped out to a place called Mayur and had a great meal.  As it happened it has some Gujarathi touch also, because Swapna decided that pure Marathi khana places are not good enough.  No matter what, there is no way the girls can be kept away from shopping.  They all went to buy off the town while the stags went their own way to do what men are good at doing – make your guess.

 V R Damerla (Nani)




Tuesday, February 5, 2013


RAJAHMUNDRY, February 2, 2013

Disciple to recreate Damerla’s magic

B.V.S. Bhaskar
Guvvala Kennedy to reproduce 24 paintings of the great artist
A touch of genius!Artist Guvvala Kennedy giving finishing touches to legendary artist Damerla Ramarao’s paintings.— PHOTO: S. RAMBABU
Some of the valuable paintings of Damerla Ramarao, known to have emerged as an artist half a century after Raja Ravi Varma and for his significant contribution to enriching art forms, will be born again due to his ‘Eklavya’ or disciple, Guvvala Kennedy.
A huge volume of Damerla’s paintings are hardly visible due to formation of fungus on the frames. The heritage art gallery dedicated to him, on the other hand, is a picture of neglect. The government took over the Damerla Ramarao Memorial Art Gallery in 1984, which was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi on 18 July, 1925. The foundation for a second building was laid by Durgabai Deshmukh.
Well composed works
His works were well composed and were decorative in nature like those of Puvis de Chavannes, the post-Impressionist artist from Paris. ‘The Andhra Society of Indian Art’ in Rajahmundry, his home town, heralded a renaissance in art in the Andhra area. Damerla’s special ability was spotted by Sir O.J. Couldrey, then principal of the Rajahmundry Arts College, who took him to Ajanta and Ellora to sketch frescos and sculptures. It is said that Viceroy Lord Reading was so impressed with his works that he purchased the painting “Godavari of Eastern Ghats”.
Voluminous collection
“There are more than 500 paintings of Damerla, out of which I want to reproduce 24 paintings, all water colours, which are not seen clearly and two huge oil paintings which have attracted fungus,” said Mr. Kennedy.
The two popular oil paintings, ‘Krishna Leelalu’ and ‘Leela Krishna’, which are worth over Rs.1 crore each, are going to be restored with Kennedy’s brush.
Damerla’s works include 34 fully finished paintings in oil, 129 in water colours, 250 sheets of studies in pencil, 26 sketch books and a large number of loose sketch sheets, which have all been infested by fungus on the frames at the Damerla Art Gallery in Rajahmundry.
“The younger generation is slowly forgetting the contribution made by the likes of Damerla. I want to take Damerla’s art again to art lovers and encourage poor students who want to learn art,” said Mr Kennedy.
Guvvala Kennedy is working on 24 paintings of Damerla Ramarao

Article sent by 

A.Vijaya Murthy (Jijji)