Sruuthi, all of five, has a thing for winning competitions
You’ve probably never met a five-year-old who’s quite this busy. S. Sruuthi, a U.K.G. student at Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Senior Secondary School (PSBBSS) has won 93 (and counting) recitation competitions in and around the city. She’s won so many, in fact, that she sometimes doesn’t even have the time to go collect her awards.
“She once took part in six competitions on a single day,” says proud father Shiv Prasad. “On Saturdays and Sundays, she’s fully engaged in competitions.”
Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? And that doesn’t even take into account the time the little tyke has to spend learning by rote pages of script. You see, Sruuthi’s forte is reciting passages from the Vishnu Sahasranamam, the Bhagwad Gita, Narayaneeyam or the Thirupaavai at recitation contests or reciting dialogues in the character (and full costume and make-up) of Lord Hanuman, Lord Krishna or Raja Raja Chozhan at fancy dress contests conducted at sabhas in the city.
Learning up long passages in Sanskrit or Senthamizh would be hard enough for the average adult; for a kid who can’t even read Tamil yet, it’s a pretty tough ask. “She can learn pages and pages of dialogue verbatim — you just have to tell her once and she’ll retain it,” insists Shiv. But all that intensive coaching doesn’t leave the little girl with much time for everyday activities, such as watching her favourite cartoons on Pogo.
There’s even a complete support team working with her, courtesy her great-uncle and theatre and film personality, the late R.S. Manohar. “All the Senthamizh scripts are written by my uncle’s scriptwriters, and her make-up and costumes are also taken care of by his team,” says Shiv.
She was three years old when she took part in her first contest dressed as Lord Muruga, and her ambitious father has many more plans for her — she’s already being trained in classical dance and music, and next, he wants her to learn to play the keyboard so that she can accompany herself while singing and/or reciting. Looks like Sruuthi is only going to get busier in the near future.