MayaBazar enthralls Vizagaites
Surabhi to stage it again on November 28, 29 and 30
# Dramatic special effects keep the audience spellbound
# Sri Venkateswara Natya Mandali celebrating its 70th year now
VISAKHAPATNAM : Sage Narada descends from the sky, Abhimanyu with his mother Subhadra drives the chariot through the forest on the dais before they pitch battle with the demon Ghatodgacha in which his arrow burns down the demon's mace.
This irks the latter who raises flames which surround Abhimanyu but the Pandava prince extinguishes them by causing rain through Varunaastra. These were enacted on the stage to keep the audience spellbound.
Surabhi drama has all the ingredients that amaze you.
There is also more - wild animals are shown wandering in the forest where Ghatodgacha and his mother Hidimbi reside, Abhimanyu appears and vanishes in a trice much to the astonishment of the audience.
No wonder, even legendary drama personalities like R.S. Manohar and `Cho' Ramaswami from neighbouring Tamil Nadu were attracted to the Surabhi drama that they watched with interest and took tips on introducing such special effects in their plays.
Said Surabhi Nageswara Rao, better known as Babjee: "Mr. Manohar and Mr. Cho used to come and watch our shows. I was also invited by them to Chennai to see them perform. Surabhi is a 121-year-old rich tradition and we strive to continue it for ever."
Back home, the film industry also drew inspiration from Surabhi.
After Surabhi came out with Mayabazar scripted by Malladi Venkatakrishna Sarma in 1956, film producer K.V. Reddy who watched the show brought out `Mayabazar' on the celluloid screen in 1957 to become an all-time box office hit in the Telugu film industry.
Not very long ago, the legendary N.T. Rama Rao also came to watch Surabhi's `Veerabrahmamgari Jeevitha Charitra while making his own film on the bard, Mr. Babjee, who leads the Sri Venkateswara Natya Mandali which is celebrating its 70th year now, said.
As many as 16 members of his family are part of the about 60-member strong drama troupe that has been performing at a makeshift stage in Turner's Choultry since November 1.
Mayabazar shows ended on Monday night, but the troupe will be back to stage the popular drama again on November 28, 29 and 30, according to founder of Cultural Foundation, Badamgir Sai, who is organising the Surabhi festival.
"The Surabhi trouple will stage Balanagamma from Wednesday to Nov. 18, Veerabrahmamgari Charitra on Nov. 21 and 22 and leave for Bhubaneswar to fulfil prior commitments there.