The Sachin of Carnatic music is how film director K. Balachander described Carnatic vocalist Sangita Kalanidhi Sudha Ragunathan. “She is Tamil Nadu’s pride, India’s pride. Apart from her music, her photogenic face and profile too, are an advantage,” he said.
Mr. Balachander was speaking on Saturday at the launch of ‘Sampurna – Sruthi, Laya and My Life’, a coffee table book reflecting Ms. Ragunathan’s musical journey. M. Balamuralikrishna, a doyen of Carnatic music, described her as Sruthi and Laya.
Detailing her philanthropic side, educationist Mrs. Y.G. Parthasarathy said that no other musician has donated like Sudha has. “It is very rare to see a person who cares for others after they have come up in life,” she said.
British Deputy High Commissioner, Bharat Joshi, who released the first copy of the book, said that it was very important for people to know and understand their own culture. He congratulated Ms. Ragunathan on being presented Carnatic music’s highest award by the Music Academy.
Bharatanatyam exponent and guru Meenakshi Chittaranjan, who was Ms. Ragunathan’s senior in college, recalled how her friends would wait for Ms. Ragunathan’s turn to get over to get their prizes at award ceremonies. She said that as a person, Ms. Ragunathan was fun-loving, witty and full of zest.
In her speech, Sudha Ragunathan, who thanked her family, friends, rasikas, organisers and critics and the Music Academy, said that though the Sangita Kalanidhi was a pinnacle in her career, she had much more to do. “There are many more ragas, talas, nuances and intricacies that I need to learn and sing,” she said.
Ranjini Manian, founder and CEO, Global Adjustments, film playback singer Karthik, Indian Overseas Bank chairman and managing director, M. Narendra and film director Vasanth were among those who participated in the event.
The coffee book, containing over 40 photos by T. Selvakumar and paintings by artist A.P. Shreethar, has been published by Audio Media and Samudhaaya Foundation.
The proceeds from the sale of the book will go to Samudhaaya that supports causes including healthcare for less privileged children.
The evening came to a close with a concert by Ms. Ragunathan, who was accompanied by Rajesh Vaidhya on the veena and K. Sathyanarayanan on the keyboard.