Mangaluru: This is no ordinary mission to preserve a priceless ‘treasure.’ Environmental activist Dinesh Holla has dedicated himself to preserving the innumerable songs composed by famous folk artiste and Padmashri awardee Sukri Bomma Gowda.
Though she was awarded the Padmashri, no effort has been made by anyone to compile the songs of this nightingale from the Halakki Vokkaliga community of Uttara Kannada district.
Mr Holla, who has been actively associated with the tribals of Uttara Kannada, has now decided to bring out a book comprising songs composed by Sukri Bomma Gowda. If everything goes as per plan, the book will be ready in a few months.
“Sukri Ajji is a treasure. She knows about 4,000 songs which were composed for various occasions. Even today, at the age of 84, she composes new songs. When I had been to the Suggi Habba this March, Sikri ajji expressed her happiness and welcomed me as a guest by composing a poem on the guest! Her treasure of poems needs to be preserved and handed over to future generations,” Mr Holla told Deccan Chronicle.
The compilation of the songs is not an easy task. The pronunciation of Sukri is sometimes not clear due to her old age. It would be a tough task to record the songs, then listen and get the necessary clarifications. Mr Holla has asked Sukri's granddaughter Subbalakshmi to write down the songs as and when she can. As Subbalakshmi would be able to understand the pronunciation and words better, Mr Holla has asked her for her help.
"Sukri Ajji is ready to recite all the songs in her collection. But it is difficult to pen them down. My aim is to collect about 400 songs sung on various occasions. We will have about 2-3 songs each composed on occasions like birth, death, marriage, catastrophe, harvesting, rain, nature and various other occasions. I want the book to have songs sung on all occasions," he added.
The book will not have only songs, it will also have rare photos related to Sukri ajji and her various movements. There will be line art related to the songs by Mr Holla, who himself is a famous artist.
Once ready, Mr Holla plans to provide copies of the book to the Sahitya Parishat, libraries and various schools and colleges....