Kamala Murthy’s granddaughter B Suchithra has earned a name for herself as a Harikatha exponent and currently continues her grandmother’s tradition.

Harikatha exponent Thanjavur TR Kamala Murthy passes away at 88Facebook/Suchithra Balasubramanian
news Obituary Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 15:56

‘Thanjavur’ TR Kamala Murthy, a well-known storyteller, famed for her Harikatha performances, passed away at her residence in Thanjavur on Monday. The Harikatha exponent was 88 years old when she passed away due to age-related ailments.

According to a report in Times of India, even when Kamala stopped giving public performances about a year ago, she would sing at home even until just a week ago.

In a story that appeared in The Hindu in 2009, Kamala recalls that Raja Bhagavathar first taught her the basic music exercises and varnams. The first Harikatha she learnt from him was ‘Vathsala Kalyanam’. She was eight years old when she performed her arangetram.

In the interview, she also explains that Harikatha came to Tamil Nadu from the Marathis. “Thanjavur Krishna Bhagavathar could be called the moola purusha of harikatha that was in vogue in Thanjavur. He was responsible for bringing it on stage with a bench to seat the accompanists."

Kamala Murthy’s granddaughter B Suchithra has earned a name for herself as a Harikatha exponent and currently continues her grandmother’s legacy. Kamala Murthy is survived by four sons and two daughters.

In an interview to The Hindu, Suchithra has praised her grandmother for encouraging her to learn Harikathas. “Needless to say, my Patti (grandmother Kamalamurthy) is surely taking immense efforts to bring me up in this field. Even at the age of 80, she works hard for me every day. It is all because of her that I am in the Harikatha field today.”

Kamala received the Kalaimamani award from the Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Manram in 1978 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2000. Kamala was honoured with the Harikatha Vachaspathi title in 2003 by V Narayana Iyer Memorial Trust and also with the Dr MAM Ramaswamy Award.

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.