Striking the right note between music and math

M. Sai Gopal
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Rahul Sundar
Rahul Sundar

They say performing arts and science are like chalk and cheese. As though to debunk the myth, a young Hyderabadi has managed to excel in both the disciplines.

Sixteen-year-old Rahul Sundar is not only an accomplished Mrudangam player but has also managed to clear the Joint Entrance Examination JEE-Main for admissions into National Institute of Technology (NITs), IIITs and other centrally-funded technical institutions.

In fact, his score of 210 out of 360 in the exam has made him eligible to take the JEE-Advanced test, which is scheduled to be held this Sunday.

The test decides admissions into the premier Indian Institutes of Technology.So how does the young All India Radio (AIR) Mrudangam artiste manage to accomplish the seemingly divergent task of preparing for the IIT?

“I draw strength from my music. Playing Mrudangam relaxes me, rejuvenates my grey matter and prepares my mind to absorb more. Playing Mrudangam is the only way I can relax between breaks while preparing for JEE,” he explains.

The young musician is a regular feature in AIR’s Yuvavani programmes, which is meant to encourage musicians below the age of 30 years.

He also accompanies accomplished singers during their performances at platforms like Ravindra Bharathi, Sri Tyagaraya Gana Sabha and temples in the city.

“Mrudangam is actually full of calculations and you have to carefully remember the patterns in which you have to play. Playing Mrudangam for 30 minutes is a good exercise for the brain because it helps the mind relax,” he says.

Passion for Aerospace

While music has become an indispensable part of life for Rahul, the young artiste also points out that his other passion is Aerospace.

“I want to do Masters in Aerospace and for that I have to get into the IITs first. A lot depends on self-motivation and the support of parents and teachers,” he signs off.

Sixteen-year Rahul Sundaram is passionate about mrudangam which, he says, helps him relax as he prepares for his IIT entrance



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