By Kavita Shetty
CHELMSFORD, MA–New England Tulu Koota (NETK) Boston USA presented a magnificent show at its annual cultural event on March 19 in Chelmsford, MA. This was the second such get-together by the Koota members wherein adults and children gathered to celebrate Suggida Parba, a festival marking the beginning of the spring season traditionally observed in ‘Tulunadu, a tulu-speaking region in southern Karnataka.
Dr. Jayaram Mundur, an accomplished engineer retired after a distinguished career in the US, then addressed the audience sharing his life experiences and inspiring the children in the audience to achieve their full potential.
The NETK President Bhaskar Sherigar welcomed the group and spoke eloquently in Tulu about the goals of the nascent organization and his hopes for preserving and nurturing the rich culture of Tulunadu in New England. Dr. Narayan Rao, a renowned microbiologist who taught at MIT and Stanford University, addressed the students in the audience with words of encouragement and tips for applying to top tier colleges.
The entertainment program that evening was organized by committee members Puja Shetty, Shalini Shetty, Sowmya Aneesh, Raghu Kinnigoly and Aneesh Puttur with Suraj and Kavita Shetty presiding over the function as MCs. Raghu Kinnigoly and Satish Movvar artfully synchronized the audio arrangements for each performance and Aneesh Puttur along with Ashwin Shetty covered the visual aspects of the evening’s proceedings. It was delightful to watch young children in the audience assist adults serve food or help Bhavana Jain, Renita Mendonca and Abhishek Sherigar register new members at the front desk.
The entertainment was varied displaying an amazing range of talent even among the youngest elementary schoolers. It included melodious regional songs by Sucharita Hegde such as ‘Pakkilu mooji onje gududu badukonduge’ and ‘Thunga Theera Virajam in raag Yamuna Kalyani set to Aadi Tal; and a bhajan ‘Kangala Munde Kangolisuthide’ by Ritu Somayaji. In sharp contrast, Suneel Prabhu sang ‘Counting Stars’ originally performed by ‘One Republic’ to the rhythmic clapping by the audience. That singing talent runs in the family was demonstrated by his father Sudhir Prabhu who sang the popular Kannada song ‘Thai Thai Bangaree’ from the movie ‘Giri Kanye’ along with Vivek Hegde.
The dances were varied as well including classical Bharatha Natyam by Rajashree Havaldhar; ‘Kaliya Narthana’ a Kuchipudi dance by Akshitha Rao; ‘Krishna Jathiswaram’ dance by Sahana Prabhu and Dhriti Prasanna; a popular Tulu folk dance ‘Dennana Denna’ by Aryan Puttur, Rishi Shetty, Arjun Hegde, Akash Shetty and Akshay Rao; a regional dance ‘Kadala Mage’ by Niyati Shetty, Aanya Shetty, Trisha Shetty, Saanvi Shetty, Ahan Shetty, Ayaan Hegde, Aniketh Sherigar, Rehan Shetty and Ritvik Shetty; a folk dance ‘Dingiri Mama’ by a group of couples Sudhakara and Usha Rao, Bhaskar and Shailashree Sherigar, Aneesh Puttur and Sowmya Aneesh, Akash and Sapna Shetty, Raghu Kinnigoly and Rashmi Shetty, and Ashwin and Puja Shetty; ‘Ekka Sakka’, a dance to a song from the movie ‘Koti Chennaya’ by Puja Shetty, Sowmya Aneesh, Sapna Shetty, Kalpana Shetty, Shailashree Sherigar, Rashmi Shetty, Laksmi Puranik, Sulekha Rao, Ranjita Hegde and Shalini Shetty; a kannada dance medley to the popular folk songs ‘Chellidaru Malligeya’, ‘Yello Jogappa Ninna Aramane’ and ‘ Gallu Gallenutha’ by Neha Chandra, Sneha Shetty, Aadhya Puttur and Esha Shetty; a hip hop dance to the song ‘Gulabo’ from the Bollywood movie ‘Shaandhar’ by Neha and Arjun Chandra, Deeya Yadapadithaya, Vedika Vinayak and Sneha Shetty; and finally an endearing Tulu duet written by Kavitha Chandran and sung by little children Vedika Vinayak and Deeya Yadapadithaya accompanied by Arjun Chandra on the guitar and Aryav Yadapadithaya on the bongo.
A highlight of the evening was a hilarious Tulu skit, ‘Boston Tulu School’ produced and directed by Raghu Kinnigoly and Aneesh Puttur performed by Kalpana Shetty as the teacher, Sudhakara Rao as the school inspector and students, Prabhakara Bhat, Sharat Amin, Bhaskar Sherigar, Sudhir Prabhu, Ashwin Shetty, Vivek Hegde and Fredrick Fernandes. The entertainment was capped by a rendition of Bhoothadha Kola, a very popular Dakshina Kannada art form by Raghavendra Kudrethaya as ‘Thatte Raya Bootha’ with Sudhakara Rao, Prabhakara Bhat, Sharat Amin, Bhaskar Sherigar, Puja Shetty, Shalini Shetty and Ranjita Hegde as participants.
The mouthwatering Mangalorean and other cuisine served at the conclusion of the entertainment was a fitting finale to a remarkable evening. The Koota members brought home-cooked delicacies to the event. The delicious appetizers included goli baje and chutney, pathrode, podi, bonda, uppitu and channa dal upkari served with tea during a short break. Dinner comprised of mutton curry, chicken biryani, Kundapur chicken curry, vegetable pulao, mente tambli, raitha, pachidi, mango menaskai, chapattis, mattar paneer curry, pundi with spicy vegetable curry, jackfruit and channa curry, rajma, punarpuli saaru along with yele amtekai and kanile pickles brought from Mangalore. Dessert comprised of nendrabaale halwa, wheat channa dal and jaggery and sheera.
The Parbha concluded with the vote of thanks by Puja Shetty. The success of the Parba was largely due to the continued commitment of a fun-loving team who worked tirelessly to provide excellent entertainment that covered all aspects of the arts and active participation by all of the members.