On Feb 11 2003, a stamp was released in honor of Ghantasala gaaru. For those of us who could not attend, we take great delight in presenting an eye witness account by Sri Gopi Krishna Chebiyyam, an appreciation by Sri V.S.R. Moorthy and some photographs of the ceremony with comments by Dr. Apparao Nagabhyru. All of these originally appeared on the ghantasala egroup.
We also have scans of the first day cover and the brochure issued with the stamps.
It was a lovely program organized by Ghantasala Ratnakumar & his family friends at Telugu Lalita Kala Toranam, Public Gardens, Hyderabad. The attendees include Naidu(AP CM), Union Communications Minister,The Post Master General of AP, Smt.Savitri Ghantasala, ANR, Leela,Jikki,Suseela,Janaki,PBS,Ramakrishna,SPB,Anand,Mano & SP Sailaja.
But the most delightful thing is: atleast five to six thousand people attended the function(the open air auditorium was almost full) and many more were waiting outside. All the veteran singers sang a song or two(I was not there till the end). Ratnakumar sang "Paaduta Teeyaga Challaga" very well. His voice resembled that of the Maestro.
The two promises made by Naidu on this occasion are: moving G's statue from Public Gardens to Ravindra Bharathi & allotting space in Hyderabad for a music college(proposed) named after G.
Coming to the other side of the coin: One complaint the people had was that they did not know that the entry was strictly by invitation only and hence many(especially those who came along with their families) were disappointed when they were not let inside. They also said that the banners and press releases read "all are welcome". I guess the organizers should take enough care to ensure that G's fans won't be disappointed like this.
BTW, the stamp looks very cool. One must possess it, I should say(though I don't have one yet!)
Dear Sri Ratna Kumar,
At the ourset plese accept my congratulations and hearfelt ecstasy for the befitting tributes you paid to your father Sri Ghantasala thro "Pitrudevobhava" on 11.02.03 at Telugu Lalitha Kala Thoranam, Hyderabad. This setting is fine, ambience adequate, tingling with sanctity, serenity, tranquility summing up in divinity. The Telugu Lalitha Kala Thoranam, Hyderabad was surcharged with sentiments, emotions, pain and pleasure all rolled into one.
It reminds me of a great event in Ramayana immediately after coronation, Lord Rama embraces Hanuma and declares to the world that Hanuma alone could accomplish the task of Rama by virtue of loyalty, trust, faith, devotion, dedication and determination. Accolades Hanuma received from Lord Rama reflect your paying the tributes along with your wife, sisters, daughters and sons of your brother.
Being the person closely monitoring the entire saga I have to make the following observations.
I congratulate you for carving out a place in history and making a mark by becoming popular through "Vishwadarsanam" on Teja T.V. Let millions of fans of Sri Ghantasala in India and abroad work shoulder to shoulder and strengthen your hands in realising the unrealised dreams and accomplishing the unfinished tasks of your father.
If certain things are missing in executing such a mega event, they are to be ignored and the impact that is generated will neutralise. I with you surge forward and achieve the goal.
With best wishes.
Proceed to Pictures