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Profile Salkapuram Jeevan struggled against all odds before sweeping the prizes at the 8th Global Harmony Fiesta in Bangkok.

On an international stage Jeevan receiving the award in Bangkok.
On an international stage Jeevan receiving the award in Bangkok.

P erseverance despite all odds can land you with a plum prize when you least expect it. This is precisely what happened to Salkapuram Jeevan who moved heaven and earth just to be able to participate in a music contest held at Bangkok. Jeevan came back with the ‘second best' prize in Indian vocal music in the ‘ethnic solo' category along with three talent certificates.

A beaming Jeevan says, “When I embarked on this contest, I did not have an iota of hope of winning anything. I was so enthusiastic to set foot on a foreign land and showcase my talent. That was the driving force. But to realise this, I literally had to go from door to door for sponsors as I have no parents and I could not further burden my elder brother who has been constantly taking care of my studies till date. My academia could not come forward since this was a private contest held by Akhil Bharatiya Samskrutik Sangh (Pune) in association with Thailand's ‘Patravadi Theatre'. This was the 8th Global Harmony Fiesta 2010. I approached the concerned department of our state government but to no avail. I banked on my own native land Kurnool where I was sure of some funding from well-known philanthropists. My brother chipped in too since he couldn't disappoint me for want of few thousands. It was a Herculean task,” he is quick to gulp down the catch in his voice and smile showing out his medal and certificates.

Jeevan is presently doing his M. Phil in Carnatic vocal music (PS Telugu University). About the contest, he says, “It was a music and dance competition of all Indian aspirants from December 24-29. There were 170 Indian artists. There were three categories in vocal music (Hindustani/Carnatic) — ethnic, repertory and free styles. I participated in all the three and actually won prizes in each category. To the judges and organisers, it seemed a bit odd that one individual walked away with three prizes (first or second); hence they chose to present me with ‘2nd best' in ethnic section. I had sung a lambada song ( Taiyyum tattaiyum), a Meera bhajan ( Nayanan mey nandlaal) and Brindavana lola, a Thyagaraja kriti in Thodi in the repertory category. The foreign audience came up to congratulate me. It was a wonderful moment.”

This young man from Kurnool identified his passion for music right from his choir day singing at church and constantly participated in all music contests. “I pursued music diploma course at the government music college in Kurnool on a part-time basis concentrating on my academics as well (Inter and graduation). My guru Saraswathi (daughter of TTD asthana vidwan Dolu Muniramaiah) and my brother were instrumental in persuading me to go for higher studies in music. That's what landed me in Hyderabad to finish my post-graduation in vocal music. I did get a music teacher's job on contract basis in Guntur Navodaya Vidyalaya but then decided I would like to continue with studies.”

What next? “Right now I am concentrating on my M.Phil thesis. I would like to go for doctoral research too. I love to go into teaching as well as prove to be a good performer. And I would like to lend a learned hand to aspirants like me who may have talent but lack the means and knowledge to go about in search of the right study. Classical music is being relegated to the background when it comes to applause and accolades. Film music contests get all the hype while real, traditional music competitions and the winners go unrecognised.”

R.K.

Film music contests get all the hype while real, traditional music competitions and the winners go unrecognized.

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