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Updated: October 17, 2011 20:40 IST

Twelve at 12!

SANGEETHA UNNITHAN
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Musical prodigy: S.R. Ananthakrishnan. Photo: Special Arrangement
Musical prodigy: S.R. Ananthakrishnan. Photo: Special Arrangement

Twelve-year-old Ananthakrishnan can play no fewer than 12 music instruments!

S.R. Ananthakrishnan's best friends are his musical instruments. Not one, not two, but 12 different musical instruments, that he plays with equal passion.

Multi-talented

“I play the guitar, violin, veena, mandolin, bulbul thara, keyboard, mridangam, ghanjira, tabla, ghatam, harmonium and flute. These instruments are indeed my best friends. I spend a lot of time playing them and so they have become my best companions,” says little Ananthakrishnan.

This Std VII student of Army Public School, Pangode, recently had his arangettam (musical debut) at the Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple. Apart from playing these12 instruments, Ananthakrishnan also marked his debut in Carnatic and Hindustani vocal at the programme.

Following his scintillating arangettam at Guruvayur, Ananthakrishnan has now been invited to perform at the Chembai Music Festival to be held in Guruvayur next month.

Ananthakrishnan, who started training in music when he was three, was introduced to the world of music by his parents K.C. Suresh Kumar, a businessman, and Rema Devi Nair, technical assistant at University Library, Thiruvananthapuram.

“Although my parents are not musicians themselves, they both appreciate and enjoy music a lot. My first guru was Shri Kaithapuram Damodaran Namboothiri. Later I started taking lessons in vocal music under T.N. Saraswathy Amma. After starting with Carnatic vocal I started learning Hindustani under Shri Manohar Keshkar and then the musical instruments, one by one,” he said.

Thanks to the blessings of his gurus, Ananthakrishnan is today a music prodigy. Ananthkrishnan, has won prizes in many music competitions, including the CBSE Kalotsavam where he bagged prizes twice for mridangam and violin recital. He has also performed at the All India Radio, Thiruvananthapuram.

But how does our little friend find time for learning and playing all these instruments, besides vocal music? “My parents have taught me not to waste my time. Since I have so many music classes I have a timetable at home also. I make sure that my studies are not affected by my music,” he said adding that the support of his school has been significant.

But ask him is favourite instrument of all and pat comes the reply, “I like all of them equally. They are all my best friends.”

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