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Different beats on the tabla

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FEAT TABLA Guinness record holder Sudhir Kadalundi performing at the Tapasya Literary and Cultural Forum function in Thripunithura
FEAT TABLA Guinness record holder Sudhir Kadalundi performing at the Tapasya Literary and Cultural Forum function in Thripunithura

This Guinness record holder is now focussing on creating a new world record by doing a hundred-hour stint on the tabla

For several years Sudhir Kadalundi, 39, was part of a touring music troupe in his hometown in Kadalundi, in Malappuram district. This simple, down-to-earth man always wanted to do something different. It was this determination that helped him find his way into the Guinness Book of World Records. And his feat: playing the tabla for more than 57 hours at a stretch. He completed this feat in three days and two nights, (January 25-27, 2005) thereby breaking the existing record of 46 hours set by Prasad Chander of Maharashtra."I had this longing to try and achieve something that was apparently impossible in my field," says Sudhir proudly displaying the copy of the Guinness certificate, which he carries with him. Sudhir happens to be one among the four Malayalis that includes the late Prem Nazir, to have made it to the Guinness.

Fusion music

Sudhir and his troupe were in Thripunithura recently to perform `fusion music' on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Tapasya Literary and Cultural Forum. Among the other artistes who performed at the Forum included Suchitra Visweswaran whose Mohiniyattom performance, `Narayaneeyam-Keshadipadavarnam' and Padayani by Suresh and party turned out to be an enthralling experience. The musical show commenced with `Vande mataram... ' in Desh raag. The programme, which was a mix of Hindustani, Carnatic and semi-classical pieces, presented pieces in Jog, Vrindavana Saranga, Hamsadwani, etc. With Sudhir's tabla as the centrepiece, the flute, violin, keyboard and `jhalara' provided moments of exhilarating music.Sudhir was initiated into the intricacies of the tabla when he was hardly five years old. For about seven years he trained under his guru, Bharatharaj of Kozhikode. A musician, he feels, needs to have a social responsibility. He must help spread the message of peace, unity and brotherhood. Besides, music should reach out to all kinds of people. According to him, music has to ensure three aspects - melody, harmony and rhythm - which when blended well will produce an integrated piece. Constant rehearsal is an absolute necessary, it can be time consuming, but there are no shortcuts, Sudhir adds. And what does he do for a living? "Music is a God-given gift. It is also my bread and butter. I am glad to remain as a performing artiste," he answers with a pleasant smile. Sudhir is a contract artiste with the All India Radio. He lives with his parents, his wife and a son in his hometown. Sudhir has now set his eyes on new records. This, he says, will be part of his future plans. "I would like to better my own record on the tabla. In fact, I am focussing on creating a new world record by doing a hundred-hour stint." And he is confident of being able to do it. Call it pluck or grit, this bright- faced artiste does display a large dose of determination. VANAJA VARMA

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