The sabha culture is most popular in south India. The idea of keeping alive the memory of saint poets and legendary musicians, or to express their love for their gurus or music – whatever be the reason, a group of music lovers come together to start sabhas across the country that provide a platform to both renowned and budding classical musicians alike. And, Hyderabad is no exception. One of the active and consistent sabhas in the city which holds a pride of place in many a musician’s heart is Sangeetha Ksheera Sagaram started by Ananda Mohan Voruganti in memory of his late guru Uppalapati Ankaiah, a Carnatic music exponent.
Loved by all for his passion towards music and encouraging the Carnatic musicians, Ananda Mohan Voruganti is a known name in the city. “I was the founder secretary for Thyagaraya Gana Sabha in Chikkadpally on June 4, 1966; and the first programme that was organised during the launch was of my guru’s. He was accompanied by Sri. Akella Mallikharjuna Sarma , Atluri Venkateswara Rao , Varanasi Subbarama Sastry. My guru had the title ‘Sangeetha Ksheera Sagara’ so I named my sabha after his title and started on September 3, 2002,” says Ananda Mohan.
Since childhood, Ananda Mohan had a special interest towards music. While there is no rule that every music lover should be a performer, a sound knowledge and good understanding of the theory part will help one. An active participant in all the cultural programmes organised pan-India and other countries, Ananda Mohan has maintained a good relationship with all his contemporaries and artistes. “In 1993, when I shifted from Delhi, I thought I should start the music activity in the city, and, since then, I have been running it with my own money; I do not approach any sponsors, and I regularly maintain funds in bank for music-related activities,” says Ananda Mohan.
From 2002 to 2016, Sangeetha Ksheera Sagaram organised programmes regularly in Thyagaraya Gana Sabha. The very first artist who launched the sabha with his mellofellious voice was D.V. Mohana Krishna. Later, the venue got shifted to Saptaparni in Banjara Hills. “I knew Anuradha Gunupati garu for a long time; when I expressed my wish to organise my programmes in Saptaparni, she heartily welcomed me and, since then, we have been organising our programmes there,” says Ananda Mohan.
Till date, 440 musical concerts have happened under the aegis of this sabha. Yearly, 20-30 concerts happen and the remuneration for the artistes is being paid from Ananda Mohan’s pension. From almost all ‘A’ grade top artistes to the upcoming artistes have been participating in their programmes. “My kids are taking care of me. I am just doing my (small) bit for the music world. And, I am immensely happy that youngsters are coming forward to learn classical music,” concludes the 85-year-old music connoisseur.