Bengaluru: Sohan Kumari Tiwari (84), the Sugama Sangeetha artiste who accompanied Karnataka’s father of Light Music P. Kalinga Rao along with her sister Mohan Kumari Tiwari, is no more. Sources close to the family said Sohan Kumari died on Wednesday in an old age home near Banashankari.
Sohan Kumari and Mohan Kumari were from Udaipur in Rajasthan. They were close associates of Kalinga Rao’s family. Mesmerised by his music, the sisters moved to Bangalore to be under his care from the 1940s. Both were trained in everything that Kalinga Rao dealt with in Jaanapada, Bhavageethe and Rangageethe. The trio performed together thereafter for more than three decades from the 1950s.
Amongst the hundreds of songs that Kalinga Rao, Sohan Kumari and Mohan Kumari popularised, it was Barayya Beladingale (folk), Yaakaluve ele ranga, Mugila Marige and Ilidu Baa Taayi (Da. Ra. Bendre), Brahma Ninge Jodistini and Madikeri Mel Manju (G.P. Rajarathnam) that Sohan Kumari is said to have often recollected in the last few years.
Senior Sugama Sangeetha artiste Shimoga Subbanna says, “But for Kalinga Rao and his team, great poets such as Kuvempu, Bendre and Gopalakrishna Adiga would never have reached the common man. With Sohan Kumari and Mohan Kumari joining Kalinga Rao from the 1950s, Sugama Sangeetha itself saw a new wave with diverse styles of presentation setting newer trends.”
Y.K. Muddukrishna, student of Kalinga Rao and president of Karnataka Sugama Sangeetha Parishat, has mourned the death of Sohan Kumari Tiwari.