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Updated: June 6, 2013 13:50 IST

Effortless artistry by prodigy

Vasudha Venugopal
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Tabla concert by 7 years old school boy Keshava, by Chettinad foundation. at Krishna Gana Sabha T. Ngar Chennai on saterday.
Photo S_Thanthoni. Tabla concert by 7 years old school boy Keshava, by Chettinad foundation. at Krishna Gana Sabha T. Ngar Chennai on saterday.

When he felt a little tired, all he needed was a simple tune, luring him to the tumble of rhythm, and the exultations of a 'jugalbandhi' with his mentor, musician and guitarist Nadaka followed.

The awe-inspiring performance of little Keshava at the inaugural ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi is still afresh in the minds of people. But appealing to the audience at a concert organised by the A School here on Saturday was perhaps a mightier challenge because it comprised children mostly below the age of five, and their parents.

Even as the hall resonated with their playful screeches, the young artist sat straight, radiating calm. Curly locks covered his little head and hands rested on the tabla but the moment the right rhythm struck, the wrist and the fingers turned into a blur and beats flew fast and furious.

It was yet another winning moment for the seven-year old artist as he effortlessly managed to evoke a sense of appreciative silence among the little admirers.

While mother Gopika and mentor Nadaka sang notes suffused in the various melodies, the little artist caught the cue even before the hand could be lifted, occasionally shaking his head at the end of vigorous segments.

And when he felt a little tired, all he needed was a simple tune, luring him to the tumble of rhythm, and the exultations of a 'jugalbandhi' with his mentor, musician and guitarist Nadaka followed. Strokes rose sharply emphasising the critical points, and the young boy ended his performance with a cascade of straight beats.

“It all started as a game between my mother and Keshava, when she once hummed Dha Thin Thin Taa.. , and he banged on the table to match that,” says Gopika, an artist herself. “It is the joy and spontaneity in his art that I wish to preserve,” she added, urging parents not to pressurise children into performing.

“We are still moved by the performance,” said Annamalai Muthiah, founder of A School. “While it is the responsibility of schools to emphasise on the child's holistic development, parents also have to work towards identifying the talent in their children.”

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Vasudha VenugopalJune 28, 2012

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