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An enthralling Harikatha

Those who have heard Vishaka Hari would readily agree when I say that 'Harikatha' and Vishaka Hari are synonymous and the words could be easily interchanged to mean the same. Such is the beauty of the format of story-telling and the way Vishaka handles it so fluently. So, when the opportunity presented itself to hear her in person at a theatre so near by, I grabbed it both hands. What's more, it was a children's special show which meant that I could introduce R too to this wonderful story format!

What a spell-binding, mesmerising 90 minutes it was! I am unsure now whether her music skills enchanted me more or her master story-telling skills or her grasp over the nuances of the scriptures. All in all I was held captive for all those moments; transported temporarily into a ecstatic state. She was ably accompanied by each of those on the Violin-B Ananthakrishnan, Ghatam-Sukanya Ramgopal and Mridangam-H S Sudheendra.

I had had the privilege of hearing Smt. Sukanya Ramgopal earlier at the same venue during a Sthree Thaal Tharang programme-an all woman troupe of percussionists headed by Smt.Sukanya herself. A great artiste herself, she brought in even more joy and momentum in Vishaka's journey. And, so did the Violinist and Mridangist who were equally good with their chosen instruments.

Coming back to Vishaka Hari, she has all the skills that a story-teller should have- a capability to engage all kinds of audience, a very pleasant disposition and a thorough grasp of the subject-matter. She seems such a complete package as she exhibits complete command over every aspect of Kathakalakshepam. The spirituality, passion, devotion and dedication is so evident that there is a charismatic glow on her face and you almost want to fall at her feet for letting you experience-even if for just some fleeting moments-the power of devotion and music.

Kudos to Jagriti for putting together such wonderful programmes.

P.s. do visit the links mentioned here to know more.


  1. Very interesting concept, I did not know about this at all. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Maybe once you are here we can attend one such programme, what say?

  2. Am also a great fan of Visakha.....would definitely like to hear her in person...but heard her through VCDS-Sundara kandam and Seethakalyanam

    1. Hope you get to hear her in person, amma. The effect is just something else.

  3. I am a huge fan of hers Uma. As you rightly said, the magical mixture of astounding knowledge over the scriptures, mastery over carnatic music, her way with words and her charisma never fails to cast a spell.
    She once did a 2 hr harikatha session on the shabhari moksham story in Chennai. When she started off, I wondered how anyone could narrate such a small story for 2 hrs. Was i wrong!!! She expounded aspects of it which I have never heard or thought of.
    But in Bangalore, she does her harikatha in English. In spite of her command over the language, I feel that much is lost in translation .. What do you think ?

    1. Yes, I've heard her in Tamil on T.V and do feel that perhaps better justice can be done in Tamil. Yet it does not take away anything from the English version which I equally enjoyed.
      Especially enjoyed the little snippets she shared about the songs, the reason for which they were composed in the particular ragams. I've sung carnatic krithis too but it becomes a different story when you actually understand and feel the bhavam. Isn't it?

  4. awesome and good for "R" to get intorduced to such lovely evening ... and people


    1. Hey Bikram, so nice to see you after so long..welcome back :-)

    2. Thank you thank you, glad you remember me :) .. many have forgotten ... :( ..

      How have you been and good to be back and , writing .. ..and meeting with everyone again


  5. Uma..nicely told..she definitely takes us to different world...we shuld be blessed to hear her....thanks 4 posting this...

    1. Very true, Rohini..I did feel blessed :-)


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