Song of Surrender

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Seetarama Sarma passes away

Bhagavatula Seetarama Sarma, Carnatic musician, music composer, guru and nattuvangam artist, passed away on 9 December 2017 in Bengaluru. According to reports, he had gone there from Chennai to conduct an  arangetram  and suffered a heart attack even as he was tuning the tambura. He died in harness at the age of  80, becoming one with the eternal sruti.

Sruti  magazine has published a detailed profile on the multifaceted vidwan in Sruti 238 (July 2004).

Monday, 11 December 2017

M. Chandrasekaran

Birthdays & Anniversaries


Subramania Bharati

Birthdays & Anniversaries

11.12.1882 - 11.09.1921
Subramania Bharati was a celebrated National Poet of India. He was also a good singer, composer, and enlightened critic. He was born on 11 December 1882 at Ettayapuram Of the scholars who have done excellent research on Subramania Bharati’s life and works, Prof. K.R. Rajagopalan (retd.) of Madras Christian College. prepared a statistical analysis of the ‘musical poems’ of Bharati in 1983. The monograph is in Tamil and is titled Bharatiyin Isaippulamai. It is in a mimeographed form and, to the best of my knowledge, it has not been published. (In the past, Prof. Rajagopalan had made similar studies on the kriti-s of Tyagaraja and Muthuswami Dikshitar as well.)

Bharati was a born poet and a born singer too. He had a fine voice, as testified by those who heard him sing patriotic songs at the Marina, Madras. According to V.V.S. Aiyar (1881-1925), a revolutionary and a contemporary of Bharati, the poet possessed a majestic voice and sang his compositions with the pride of a composer. The poet’s younger brother C. Viswanathan has also stated that Bharati himself set the songs to music and that he sang them quite tunefully. “Aakkur Anantachari’s biography mentions that Bharati used to sing well and was particularly fond of Nata and Kalyani,” observes T.S. Parthasarathy.

                                          To read full story, visit and buy Sruti 324

Friday, 8 December 2017


31 DECEMBER 2017

Chief Guest Sri Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director - IIT Madras

4.30 pm     Aditya Prakash (vocal)
                                   Nishanth Chandran (violin)
                                              R Sankaranarayanan (mridangam)

          6.30 pm:      V Navaneet Krishnan (vocal
           VV Ravi (violin)
                                          Trichur Narendran (mridangam
                                              Papanasam Sethuraman (khanjira)

Co-presented by Chennai Fine Arts and the N Pattabhi Raman family

Uday Shankar

Birthdays & Anniversaries

8.12.1900 - 26.9.1977

Amir Khan and the South I

By Thomas W. Ross


In The Sword and the Flute, an exquisite documentary on Indian culture told entirely with miniature paintings, the court and the temple offer clashing views of human experience. The dominance of the 16th-century Muslim Mughal emperor, Akbar, adopts a symbiosis with the Hindu Rajputs that is evident in Indian music even today. The lighter-skinned potentate stands respectfully while hearing the great Tansen sing songs that depict the cowherd girls sporting with a dark, flute-wielding god, Krishna himself. Thus the ascetic meets the worldly in a rich mulligatawny brew.

That courtly Northern master, Amir Khan, was in a similar stance to the Southern Balasaraswati family style. It was a case of mutual admiration, and Khansaheb always stayed with Bala when he had a concert in Madras. One could hazard that two minorities, the Muslim and the devadāsī temple dancer caste, were equally challenged to excel. Khansaheb’s father didn’t let him perform in public until he was 30; Bala’s and Viswa’s (T Viswanathan) performances, stellar though they might have been, were met only with fault-finding from their mother Jayammal.

The dynamic of North/South borrowing today retains the Mughal/Rajput imbalance: There are numerous examples of Carnatic musicians doing credible and even excellent renditions in the Hindustani style, but the reverse is not true.

Amir Khan, however, was an alert witness to the depth in the Balasaraswati style, where some of the most inventive and profound music could happen in friendly competition between Bala and Viswa while sitting around preparing the evening meal. Because Bala engaged even me in lick-trading at her house, it’s hard to imagine musical exchanges not arising with some frequency, on an Olympian level, between herself, Viswa, and Khansahab during his stays.

And yet the same Carnatic rāga Charukesi, from Amir Khan and, say, M.S. Subbulakshmi, reflects these contrasting world-views.

From the get-go Amir Khan diverged. He learned sāraṅgī from his father before settling on singing. He introduced a super-slow version of tālas for the dhrupad-like development of his slow khayāls. And he appropriated rāgas and rhythmic concepts from Carnatic music. I think these came especially from the family of Balasaraswati.

Without a gecko on the wall, we can only guess at the specific nature of Amir Khan’s musical exchanges with Bala and her family when he stayed with them in Madras. He surely kept his own twice-daily riyāz routine, as he did with me in my Calcutta flat. I remember the house scene in Madras as rāga- and tala-soaked, continually.

Here I’m thinking about Ranganathan, Bala’s brother and one of my first Indian teachers at Wesleyan. In addition to the special skills needed to accompany dance, like any good mṛidaṅgam player Ranga never stopped figuring out pieces, at or away from the instrument. In his final days, bed-ridden, he seemed to do nothing but. At odd hours, he’d call up old students like me:

Tom. This one’s in Khanda [5 beats]. Do you have a pencil and paper? Any number fits in this piece. They won’t get it because it’s anti-dramatic. [By “they” he meant the general Indian audience.]

Two people are talking. At each exchange, the first person (A) keeps his speed, while the second (B) talks slower. So it’s

A: x.
B: x.
A: x.
B: 2x. [Twice as slow]
A: x.
B: 4x. [Four times as slow]

This gives you 10 exes, so everything fits in five beats, regardless of the value of x. So for the tisra (3) version of this ingenious little piece (spoken simply as ta ki ta),
you’d have:
A: (3) ta ki ta
B: (3) ta ki ta
A: (3) ta ki ta
B: (6) ta - ki - ta -
A: (3) ta ki ta
B: (12) ta - - - ki - - - ta - - -

which gives 30, a multiple of 5. Try it with 4, 7, 9 . . . they all work!

Wow. I’m not a math person, but this is elegance itself. It’s really a paradigm for making more pieces, itself a model modularity.

Although Bala refrained from improvised swaras in performance (“too unladylike”!), the entire family were rhythm whizzes, and it’s very likely that such pieces as Ranga’s were aired while Amir Khan was a guest. In a rare interview, Khansaheb speaks of his rhythmic approach in the dhrut (quick) sections of his music. Without acknowledging the devadāsī family specifically, he rattles off the classic Carnatic  jatis (in the traditional order!): chatusra, tisra, misra, khanda, and sankirna, 4, 3, 7, 5, and 9.

Amir Khan was of course also a master of North Indian rhythmic approaches. There was, for instance, a legendary exchange of sophisticated pieces one evening between him and the great tablist Ahmedjan Thirakwa. But he obviously benefited from his stays with perhaps the most eminent music and dance family of the South.                                          (To be continued)

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Subbaraya Pillai

Birthdays & Anniversaries

My mother Savithri Sabanayagam took me as a four-year old to the illustrious Pandanallur guru Chockalingam Pillai and his son Subbaraya Pillai to learn Bharatanatyam. Their dance school was in a corporation school beneath the Egmore bridge. My first memory is that of holding my nose when I entered, as the school toilets were at the entrance, shutting my ears as the sound of the trains passing by created a racket, but my eyes were wide open as I watched many children dance. Like the lotus that blooms radiant in muddy waters, one of the purest and most beautiful styles of Bharatanatyam was being taught there by very simple, great masters belonging to the illustrious lineage of the Tanjore Quartet.

As soon as the corporation school closed for the day at 3.30 pm, the main classroom benches would be piled to the side, the masters would supervise the sweeping of the room and the class would start at 4 pm. Chockalingam Pillai was known as Peria Master and Subbaraya Pillai as Chinna Master. When we entered the school at 4 pm we had to first pass the Big Master who would be seated on a tinnai or pyol outside the classroom – with his walking stick and chewing betel leaves. He would greet every child – tick them off if they were late – enquire, if they had eaten idlis and drunk their milk. Small Master would be taking the adavu classes and Big Master would come in a little later and both would conduct classes which would go on until pm as the seniors came in. They taught with great dedication and commitment to the art – gave it with so much generosity laced with the choicest of abuses and witty remarks.

                                          To read full story, visit and buy Sruti 368

C. Saroja

Birthdays & Anniversaries


                                                      To read full story, visit and buy Sruti 85

kalanidhi Narayanan

7.12.1928 - 21.2.2016
Birthdays & Anniversaries

Kalanidhi's parents, Sumitra and S.V. Ganapathy, decided that their child of seven years should learn Bharatanatyam. In making this decision, they had the personal encouragement of E. Krishna Iyer, even as Rukmini Devi had it when she, after witnessing a Bharatanatyam performance at the Music Academy by two disciples of Pandanallur Meenakshisundaram Pillai, asked Krishna Iyer whether she was not too old (at 32 years of age) to learn and perform the dance.

Kalanidhi's dance guru-s were Mylapore Gowri Amma for initial training and thereafter Kanchipuram Kannappa Pillai for nritta and Chinniah Naidu for abhinaya. Kannappa Mudaliar or Kannappa Pillai as he was known, was related to Kanchipuram Ellappa Mudaliar. Naidu was a renowned Tamil, Telugu and Sanskrit scholar who had deep knowledge of dance.

Kalanidhi also studied music from Manakkal Sivarajan. Later she learnt pada-s and javali-s from Kamakshi Ammal, daughter of Veena Dhanammal.

She gave several performances on the stage between 1938 and 1943, which is when she covered the time measure between the age of 11 and 16. Virtually all her performances were in support of one cause or another, until she got married and exited the field. By then she had earned an important distinction as a dancer: she was among the dancers presented on the stage of the Music Academy as part of Krishna Iyer's campaign for the renaissance of Bharatanatyam; and, furthermore, she was the only brahmin girl in the brigade recruited and assembled under the banner of the Music Academy to demolish the antipathy towards the dance that had threatened the virtual extinction of the art-form.For the record, she danced on the Academy stage in 1939.

                          To read full story, visit and buy Sruti 171

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Kadri Gopalnath

Birthdays & Anniversaries

In classical music, the young aspirant encounters many hurdles barring the way to fame and fortune. Talent and application to the art are by themselves not enough. It is vital for the aspirant and his or her guardian angels to enter and remain in the good books of organisers in order to procure concert opportunities amidst stiff competition ; acquire impressive concert techniques ; muster friends and relatives to achieve decent audience turnout; develop a fan following without alienating purists or critics ; secure press coverage by pleasing key persons ; and in general maintain positive feedback loops that sustain the momentum of progress. Many a time, a good performer gets defeated by all the behindthe- scenes activity.

In such a competitive situation where merit alone is not enough, the adaptation and mastery of an instrument quite alien to the native music tradition confers distinct advantages on the aspirant concerned. The novelty value attracts curious listeners, thereby bestowing much needed attention and recognition on the innovative artist. The marriage of U. Srinivas and the mandolin offers the best illustration of this aspect, although Srinivas' musical genius is such that he would have succeeded possibly with any other instrument as well.

Kadri Gopalnath of Karnataka has carved a niche for himself in Carnatic music by taking up the saxophone instead of his family's traditional instrument of nagaswaram. He has been on the concert stage for about 11 yearsnow and has won both attention and recognition. 

To read full story, visit and buy Sruti 36,396

Ritha Devi

Birthdays & Anniversaries


6.12.1928 - 30.12.2006
Birthdays & Anniversaries

In the 1960s, she stopped performing Bharatanatyam to become a writer, poet and a human rights activist. Many of us saw her in her earlier avatar and watched in fascination as she evolved into an original thinker and creator in Indian dance, inventing a new, contemporary idiom, rooted in several synergistic Indian traditions that went beyond dance.

It was when she rejected the devotional elements of dance and explored the potential of the human body through a new stylistics based on rigour and precision, that we sat up and took notice of her. Often dubbed a maverick who fused Bharatanatyam, yoga and Kalaripayattu, she gradually found a devoted band of loyal students, when she moved away from solo performances to produce brilliantly orchestrated group productions that stressed the importance of teamwork. With each new production, more and more controversy surrounded her, as she experimented with form and content.

1985 was a turning point in her life as a choreographer. She started work on Angika, said to be a milestone in the history of Indian dance, in which she first combined Bharatanatyam and Kalaripayattu. Performing at Kalakshetra, she shocked most of the audience unused to ‘modern’ dance, with the explicit if artistic depiction of man-woman relationships.

Her work Sri, on the theme of equal rights for Indian women, was shown in the House of World Cultures in Berlin in 1992 during the India Festival there.

To read full story, visit and buy Sruti 269

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Kartik Fine Arts Festival


Isai Peroli - S. Mahathi
Nadanamamani - Bhavya Ramachandran (nee Balasubramanian) 
Tamil Isai Vendhar -  N. Vijay Siva (see Sruti 285, June 2008)
Isai Chudar -  Anahitha & Apoorva  
Natya Chudar -   K.R. Manasvini
Best Cultural Organiser - S. Ravichandran, Secretary, Brahma Gana Sabha 
Madura Kalamani Award - Sheela Unnikrishnan
Uma Memorial Award for Upa-Pakkavadyam - Srirangam S. Kannan (morsing)

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Festival


Lifetime achievement awards

Kadri Gopalnath (saxophone)
O.S. Arun (vocal)
Sailaja (kuchipudi)

Brahma Gana Sabha festival


Gaana Padmam - T.V. Gopalakrishnan  (see Sruti 363, December 2014)
Natya Padmam - Nandini Ramani

Vaadya Padmam - M. Chandrasekaran (see Sruti 258, March 2006)
Nataka Padmam - B.M. Purushothaman (Augusto)

Damayanti joshi

5.12.1932 - 19.9.2004
Birthdays & Anniversaries

Born in Mumbai on December 5, to Vatsala Joshi, Damayanti was "adopted" by the wellknown scientist of the times, Col. Sahib Singh Sokhey and his famous dancer-wife Madame Menaka as their own. Menaka had lost her daughter earlier and thus took to Daman as her own. A rather weak child physically, Daman got attracted to the sounds of ghungroos emanating from Madame Menaka's classroom where Pandit Sitaram Prasad of the Lucknow gharana taught. He was a direct disciple of Bindadin and taught many girls in the neighbourhood. Kathak then was very popular in Bombay.

A re you her son?" asks her maid when I announce my presence in Mumbai, December 2002. "Yes, sort of," I quip and this thought is true because Damayanti Joshi was the first person who saw me when I was born in Maharani Shantadevi Hospital in Baroda, on a rare day like the 29th of February. Damayanti called on my mother M.K. Saroja and saw me as an hour old! and blessed me before even my father, the venerable Mohan Khokar, took time off from his university classes in the evening, to come to see his third-born son. Thus, I have always held Damayanti to be a motherfigure, in addition to being a great Kathak exponent. I was in Mumbai documenting veteran guru-s on a Ford Foundation pilot project and chanced to land at Damayanti (Daman's) home on 5th December, a special date because it was her 80th birthday too! Like all great dancers, she claimed it was her 60th birthday but what's a few decades between friends? That digital recording perhaps remains the last-ever footage of this dance great. 

To read full story, visit and buy Sruti 243

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Kalamandalam Sugandhi

Birthdays & Anniversaries


Saradchandra Arolkar

Birthdays & Anniversaries

2.12.1912 - 3.6.1994

P. R. Thilagam

Birthdays & Anniversaries

To read full story, visit and buy Sruti 255

Self regulation is the need of the hour

By Seetha Ratnakar

The New York Philharmonic Orchestra presents a free concert at the great lawn in the Central Park, New York which attracts more than 10,000 spectators annually. I had the opportunity to attend their concerts two years in a row and I was astounded by the behavior of the audience. Most of the people reached a couple of hours before the show to secure a good place. While they waited, they spread out tarpaulins and tablecloths and arranged an array of snacks and drinks to enjoy with family and friends. All around me I heard happy conversations and laughter and watched photo sessions in progress. I did not see any police or ushers and it looked like one big picnic spot. When the musicians came on stage to take their places a quiet hush fell across the multitude. The transformation was amazing. The audience enjoyed the outstanding concert in respectful silence breaking it only to applaud at the end of each segment. There were no distractions or disturbances through the entire show. If people arrived late, they were most unobtrusive. There was not a single discordant sound of cell phone or conversation. There was just great music and a disciplined audience who thoroughly enjoyed every nuance. At the end of the show the people cleared the trash and deposited it in trash cans and left the park as clean as before. There were no announcements or reminders. The social awareness and behavior of the audience seemed to stem from self- regulation.

The experience came quite as a shock to me as I was under the impression that I come from a country steeped in culture and therefore I have more respect for the arts than my Western counterpart.  My misconception made me look at audiences anew when I attended cultural shows in Chennai--my city. I was sadly disappointed to notice that we, as an audience, are rather lackadaisical in our attitude. While we are genuinely appreciative of the art itself, we lack sensitivity when it comes to respecting the artists and the audiences during performances. It is a common sight to see people arrive late and walk nonchalantly in front of the people seated or leave in the middle of a performance. The mobile phone will surely ring sometime, somewhere and we are forced to listen to muffled conversations and even loud comments and instructions. An announcement is made at every concert, every play and every movie to remind us to keep our phones on silent mode, and yet we forget to silence them. I remember attending a play in which Jaya Bachhan played the lead role and during the intense climax scene a mobile phone rang and she became visibly upset. In an interview later, she mentioned that she missed the punchline because of the disturbance. It is frustrating for artists as  all their hard work and rehearsing gets nullified by such a single transgression.

The ultimate disruption is caused by the media and it is more so at award and release functions. Media persons spring out of nowhere and block the view of the audience entirely to take those 'timely' pictures and videos as they obliterate the view for the audience which has taken the trouble to attend the show.  The photographers are impervious to the anger and disappointment of family and friends who travel long distances to watch the proceedings and share the experience.

As organisations in the city are gearing up for the Chennai music and dance season this may be a good a time for us to rekindle our thoughts on how to be a more responsible audience. By and large, we are culturally aware and evolved human beings but when even one person flouts norms it can disrupt the whole show. A collective effort by each one of us to make it a habit of silencing cell phones and keeping the auditorium and washrooms clean will go a long way in showing respect and consideration to artists and fellow audiences. Organisers can help by providing designated places for videographers and photographers and invite them to take group photos after the audience witness the proceedings. We are the fortunate beneficiaries of an amazing cultural heritage, and we, the audience also have a part to play in keeping these great traditions alive. Chennai has been included in the list of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network of the world and it is our moral responsibility to keep the creative beacon shining in splendour without a blemish.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Fifteenth anniversary of Samudhra

By C. Ramakrishnan

Mudhra celebrated the 15th anniversary of Samudhra magazine and 250 weeks of Paalam Free Webcast on 19 November 2017 at the Infosys Hall on Bazulla Road in Chennai. Sudharani Raghupathy, veteran Bharatanatyam dancer-guru inaugurated the function and Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti, chief patron presided over the proceedings. The highlight was the conferring of the title of Gnana Samudhra on Rama Kausalya, for her outstanding contribution as a musician and musicologist, and presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to Yoga, for his contribution as a photographer in the arts field. The much sought after Music Planner cum Directory 2018 was also released on the occasion.

Multifaceted Dr. Rama Kausalya is a musician, teacher, musicologist and propagator of culture and traditional values. She devotes all her time to inspire and transform the lives in rural Tanjavur through music and other arts. She retired as the Principal of the Music College in Tiruvaiyaru and propagates music holistically through her Marabu Foundation which aims to promote peace and harmony through the fine arts, literature and traditional arts. The Marabu Foundation has been the local partner in organising the Sacred Music Festival in an aesthetic way in Tiruvaiyaru in collaboration with the Prakriti Foundation, Chennai.

Prior to the award function, Rama Kausalya presented a lecdem on the “Musical aspects in Tevaram Isai”. She dealt with the musical aspects in Tevaram and other forms of Pann Isai, and her disciple Madhuvanti rendered select tevarams melodiously. The programme was so good that Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti announced immediately that a similar programme would be arranged at Brahma Gana Sabha during the music season to  ensure a better reach.
The other awardee, ace photographer Yoga has carved a niche for himself through his dedication and involvement in his chosen profession. He is noted for capturing the best moments of several  artists through his lens.

It is appropriate that Samudhra has chosen the above dignitaries to receive the awards.

Ramana Balachandhran

Young Voices

Young Voices - Ramana Balachandhran  - Veena Artiste

By Mannarkoil Balaji

Ramana Balachandhran, a young veena prodigy from Bengaluru, has performed far and wide in India. During a freewheeling conversation with Sruti, Ramana is level headed and mature in his  replies to our questions.

Tell us about your gurus.

initially learnt vocal music from my mother Smt Sharanya Balachandhran, a disciple of Mythili Jagannathan and Mythili Kannan. I also started learning mridangam at the  age of four with Sri Satyakumar. My mother used to learn the laya exercises herself to teach me since I was too young to read . My mridangam training continued for a short while under Sri Nagendra and later Sri Ranganatha Chakravarthy with whom I enjoy a wonderful relationship. He makes sure that I understand the need for a fine balance between complexity and saukhyam. 

My veena training started with vidushi B Nagalakshmi, a granddaughter of Karaikudi Subbarama Iyer (brother of Karaikudi Sambashiva Iyer) quite unexpectedly. My mother's guru she moved from Trichy to Bangalore. My mother took me to her when she thought she noticed a certain flair for the instrument in me.  The training with her exposed me to a gayaki style of playing the instrument. Sahitya was always a primary concern. She was both a guru and an affectionate senior. I learnt from her for a period of three years.

Three years ago, I started learning vocal music from Smt Neela Ramgopal. She is not only a wonderful teacher, but inspires her students with a work ethic that's unparalleled. Most of us would be proud of ourselves if we had a fraction of her energy levels, intensity and commitment.  

My father, a musician himself, stayed away from music due to his work and other pursuits. My music grew in intensity when he started to work with me seriously. He has insights into how complex manodharma aspects may be built incrementally. Once specifically called out it becomes much easier to focus on the same and contemplate extensions, which is what we do at home. He is a taskmaster and is usually dissatisfied with whatever I play or claim to have practised.  He is a very patient teacher.

Please tell us about your learning methods.

All my gurus laid emphasis on artha bhava and sahitya bhava. It took me a while to realize that it also formed a shortcut to remembering the kriti well. During the sessions with the guru, as also at home, we constantly work on the presentation aspects of compositions. At times we find that the sangatis which sound good vocally may not sound good on the veena. Hence we always try to work on bringing out the best of vocal expression to its nearest perfection in veena too. 

My practice also includes various exercises in laya like singing a varnam or chittaswaram in various speeds and gatis. My father has taught me to be open minded and pick up interesting ideas from other vidwans and attempt extensions and variations. 

A word about your technique?

The need to be close to vocal music has helped me to discover some specific fingering techniques, which I diligently practise. There is some phraesology around sahitya where instrument specific variations represent a richer picture; one has to constantly look out for such and adapt accordingly. For instance, there are subtle differences between producing the same gamaka across frets and within a fret. There are also trade-offs between split finger and fluid finger movement techniques that are specific to certain phrases. I prefer building these on fluid and gamaka-laden lines. 

Any style that makes it possible for a musician to be equally comfortable playing a gati pallavi as well as  bhava-laden sahitya, playing a ghana raga with deep visranti, an impactful tukkada, a complex kuraippu  as well as free-flowing and spontaenous swaraprasthara suits me. 

It is interesting to discover anuswaram-based phrases even in scalar ragams and I immensely enjoy manodharma that gives the raga swaroopa primacy among all aspects of creativity

Do you enjoy ragam-tanam-pallavi?

Pallavis always fascinate me. I look for interesting ideas there. Exercises around pallavis are necessary to establish your grip over laya. I always try to fit in a pallavi in any normal-length concert unless it seems out-of-place in the setting.

The role of your gurus and parents in your career?

What I am today is because of my parents’ full support and the blessings of my gurus. Their frequent monitoring and mentoring help me to stay on track. I am lucky to have my father as my guru who guides me on various aspects of my music.

Are you going to be a full time musician?

I tend to lose myself in music and would always love to be associated with it all waking hours. However, the implications of the choice are beyond me at this point as I just turned sixteen. My academic pursuits have shaped up well enough for me to be a fence-sitter, but eventually I hope music chooses me full-time! I am being homeschooled and hence I have the opportunity to consider my pursuits in unhurried fashion and immerse myself in whatever I do, be it music, academics or other interests. Incidentally, my “other interests” include science experiments, paper plane design and magic. 

Your favourite ragas and kritis?

Sahana, Rasali, Ahiri, Saurashtram, Sankarabharanam and Kanada are some of my all-time favourite ragas. The list of favorite compositions is large but still these are the few I can list now: Kamakshi swarajat's, navavaranam, the padam Alarshara paritapam, Emanadichevo (Sahana), Navasiddhi petralum (Kharaharapriya) and Aparadhamulanorva (Rasali).

How do you link practice and on-stage performance?

Though practice is very important, equally important is a musician's ability to trust his instinct on stage. I am learning that as well. My father always says that I should find some spontaneous moments of freedom in every concert. He believes “That which doesn't touch the musician’s heart doesn't touch the listener’s heart too”. I try to keep all these aspects in mind while practising and while on stage. The concert stage becomes a medium for me to express, not just the technical aspects of music, but also my freedom, explorations and instinct. Learning and assimilation are a major aspect of my practice, whereas spontaneity and fluidity forms the core of my performances. 

Awards and recognition

Recipient of CCRT national level scholarship for veena
Pratibha Puraskar, Bangalore 
Invited to perform at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi .
Awarded “Smt Lalitha Padmanabhan Endowment” award for Veena by Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai 
Awarded “Prof G T Narayana Rao” award instituted by Bhramara Trust of Y T and Madhuri Thathachari, Mysore 
Granted age waiver by Prasar Bharati and Director General of AIR for Audition appearance in AIR.
Honoured as “Kalavanta 2016” for winning the concert competition series
Awarded “Raga Laya Prabha” by Sri Rama Lalitha Kalamandira, Bangalore
Awarded “Emani Sankara Sastri Sashtiyapthapoorthi Award” by Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai Awarded “Dr. M S Subbulakshmi Fellowship grant” by Shanmukhananda Sabha, Mumbai 
Awarded “Annapurna Ravindran Endowment Award” by Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai .