Tuesday, 21 March 2017

SRI VIJAYA RAMA GANA PATHASALA - 1934

A group photo taken at a function in Sri Vijaya Rama Gana Pathasala (south India's first Music College) headed by Pandit Srimadajjada Adibhatla Narayana Das.

Taken in 1934 it features a galaxy of musicians who were to become maestros in later years. Pandit Narayana Das (garlanded) may be seen in the middle. On his right is a small boy (his grandson) and next to him is his elder brother Sri Peraiah Sastry also a vocalist.

There is a story about Pandit Narayana Das' grandson (Upadhyayula Suryanarayana Rao). When he was 23 he had an attack of smallpox. It was so severe it almost consumed him.

As per his several biographers, Pandit Narayana Das, a Durga Upasaka, prayed a whole night seeking Her blessings for his pet grandson's life. He offered his own life in reparation for his grandson's.

From the next day the grandson began recovering but Pandit Narayana Das became severely ill and passed away on the day the boy fully recovered.