Janapada Jathre 2006

October 16, 2006

Photo courtesy: Deccan Herald, The Hindu & Vijay Times

In the early 80’s, one Sunday evening, I remember my parents taking me to play on the lawns of Vidhana Soudha. I remember seeing for the first time the illuminated building. It was looking fabulous in yellow. Everytime I would see the building from the bus in the daytime, I would long to see the illumination (Got to know years later that the building was illuminated only on Sundays). And when I rarely got to see the Vidhana Soudha at night, it would be a week day and sadly for me, it would just have white tubelights illuminating the building and I would remember the day I saw the illuminated majestic building.

This weekend, after many years, I had been to Vidhana Soudha with my son, wife and Mother-in-law. The road in front was free from vehicular movement. In fact, the road from UVCE till GPO was blocked. With the entire Ambedkar Veedhi stretch devoted to the audience, relief and happiness was writ large on the face of the stroller. After all it’s not everyday that one gets to loiter around Vidhana Soudha sans the traffic. The crowd started coming in since late afternoon. The event was a rare one, what with over eighty groups from all over Karnataka coming to showcase their talents and entertain the public with the cultural and folk dances and songs of ‘Kannada nadu, kalegala beedu’.

For its part, the majestic Vidhana Soudha (see Pic) which provided the backdrop spoke a language of grandeur. The rich colours and lights of the occasion wove magical patterns on the historic structure, leaving an onlooker in awe. The event, the ‘Janapada Jathre’ (Folk Fair) started off with Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and Home Minister M P Prakash lighting the traditional lamp. The two came to the event riding atop a bullock-cart  (see Pic). A group of folk artistes making the entry riding atop bullock carts and showcasing the unity of Karnataka was a scene worth seeing. The Jatre was fast-paced and quite entertaining with events unfolding in quick succession with ‘Charma Vadya’ items hogging away the limelight and receiving accolades. Folk artistes performed major art forms like Pooja Kunita, Geeta Kunita, Charma Vadya – an impressive line up indeed. The next item brought the house down with the hair-raising rendition of ‘Nada Geete’.

The artistes performed to an energetic melody of folk songs, that left audience regaling in fun throughout the three-hours extravaganza. The rhythmic beat of the drums, interspersed with the oral narration of the tales of the gods, in Kannada, transported the audience to a different world, away from the Silicon valley lifestyle. Stalls selling native food (Jolada Rotti, Raagi mudde and so on) and music were an added incentive at this folk-fair. There were the usual Cucumber and Groundnuts sellers sitting near a few lamp-posts. There was the usual crowd in front of the Muskin Jola (Corn) seller. Some wanted it without the chilly paste and some wanted it with just lemon and salt. There were some kids who were literally rolling on the lawns, without anyone to tell them to sit obediently on the chair. Elderly folks were munching groundnuts near the steps leading to the seat of power. A lot of people were taking photographs of their friends and relatives with their Mobiles. One modern looking girl from Rajasthan, asked me if she could take a picture with my son. I passed him to her and she was really happy and cuddled my son before giving him back to me. Meanwhile, there were a few local dancers performing to the tunes of ‘Moodal Kunigal Kere’ and ‘Bhagyada Balegaara’ (see Pic). In the resounding applause from the audience, the performers got the best compliments. There was energy and vibrancy at the Jathre, taking both the entertainer and the entertained on an emotional journey. On the lighter side, it was funny to see the premises of Vidhana Soudha being converted into a cowshed owing to presence of a large number of cattles which were a part of the Jatre.

Pooja kunitha, Pata kunitha, Chittemela, Nandhi Dhwaja, Veera Gaase, Bayalaata, Yakshagaana, Gombe Mela, Arevaadhya, Sobaane Pada, Geegi Pada, Goravayyana Kunitha and other folk arts are really rare to see today in places like Bangalore. We need to thank the folk artistes and the organisers for having brought to the urban dweller the richness of folk art and traditions. Unless these art forms and artistes are encouraged, generations to come may get to read about them only in textbooks or see them in Janapada Loka, founded by HL Nage Gowda.


8 Responses to “Janapada Jathre 2006”

  1. Anil Anand Says:

    RK avare,
    Sounds like it was fun. EVERYTIME i used to drive out of cubbon park , i would be in awe of Vidhana Soudha. Amazingly symmetrically building. Muskin jhola has become nostalgia for me now.

    PS: You should have also asked for a snap of the girl with your son . what say?

  2. usha Says:

    Super write up bellur,

    Jana marulo jathre marulo anno saying gnapaka banthu ..

    Ivella janapada kalegala bagge apara samshodhane maadidha Shri H.L. Nage Gowda, adara collection (photos, equipments, instruments, his lifetime collections)Janapada loka subsidiay of Karnataka Janapada parishatthige kottidhare.
    Navellaru Visit madlebekadantha sthala adhu


  3. rk Says:

    i love the road leading to Vidhana Soudha from Corporation via State Central Library. have seen plenty of film shootings in front of the Library which has a huge garden!
    the girl was photographed along with my son. 😉

    thanks. 🙂
    me and my better half, just a few months after marriage, had gone on bike to Janapada Loka. the collection is superb.
    nice link.

  4. Veena Shivanna Says:

    Bellur, Thanks for sharing this with all of us. Chandana dalli direct relay ittante which I missed it. We just passed by around 3pm on saturday & i could see some people rehearsing their shows. The setup was awesome. We generally go to Cubbon park (Vidhana soudha side) to eat Pani puri & take a walk till VS. eega Vikaasa soudha bere kaTTidaare , the whole road is now soudhas only. Janapada lokada vyathi some abbayya naaidu or somebody talking on our culture. I have a collection by BK Sumitra all these janapada songs adralli ‘Balegaara chennaiah’, ‘Kudareya tandeeni’, ‘Aashada maasa baditavva’,’gallu gallenutha’. ‘moodal kunigal kere’, ‘munjaneddu kumbaaranna’ & such 60 songs are there. I enjoy each one of them. Folk lore is one deparatment in Manasa gangothri, Mysore so we can know the depth allve. I appreciate the brain child IAS office IM Vittal Murthy for this one & all the organisers. amele monne mysore ge hogovaaga I noticed something called ‘Mini Vidhaana soudha’ in KumaaraNNa’s ooru cum sholeya ramanagara. That was amazing, Mini Vidhaana soudha 🙂

    It was almost 6 months back where I had asked prashanth to pick me up from this point called Vidhana soudha & we literally had to search around for each other. I was on the other road of VS & he was this way near that attara khacheri. Thank GOD that we had our cell phones to locate ourselves, otherwise do you remember that ‘Kalleshi’ & Mrs Kalleshi’s Kamatha hotel in the movie ‘Nodi swamy naavirodu heege’ ?? Keep writing Bellur. Its really nice to see these collections.

    Your other articles on RKN are good. I really liked the collages which had all the covers of his books. I am now realising I need to buy somany books of RKN. The last book I read what the Talkitive man I think.!!

  5. Vijay Says:

    RK.. seems to have gone well…

    How about akki rotti, jola rotti etc? Was it good?

    Make sure little Narayan gets his drishti taken… 🙂

  6. rk Says:

    thanks for your comments. it was nice to read about your various experiences near Vidhana Soudha. interesting to read about the mini VS near ramanagara. good that you have a great collection of folk songs. keep them safely. it was nice to hear vittal murthy speak at the jathre. seems a person who is really interested in promoting kannada samskruthi. remember the kalleshi incident. the movie is one of my favs.
    glad you liked the RKN series i did. yes, do read them as and when you find time. simple style. great books.

    yes, went pretty well. couldn’t eat the akki rotti, jolada rotti but had the usual muskin jola, southekai and kadlekai stuff. after getting used to so much of darshanis and pizzas, these itself were like janapada thindi!
    his mom regularly takes drishti. thanks for your concern. 🙂

  7. shark Says:

    wow! such things happen still in Bangalore. This is so nice to hear 🙂
    In the earlier days I used to love to go to plays in Ravindra Kalakshetra. I remember the first play I saw there “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. It’s still etched in my memory though I was hardly 8 at that time…:)

    Awwww I am getting all nostalgic now 🙂

    Yes. These people need all the encouragement. The best thing to do from our side is attend such melas 😀 Happy them and happier we 🙂

  8. lakshmi narayana(manju) Says:

    janapada jathre is big programee in bangalore i like it very much i want become a member in this programee pls do this programee all over karanataka .

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