For a song

KEEP IN MIND Sudha Raghunathan: `Dress and diet are important'  


Sudha Raghunathan shares some advice on stage performances

Talking to a top performer like Sudha Raghunathan, performing in more than 25 concerts in each Madras Music Season is an exhilarating experience. "Only a distinction in the December concerts in Chennai puts you up there, for, artistes from around the world congregate in this Mecca of Carnatic Music," says Sudha."This is also the season to follow my mouna-vrata as I carry a heavy responsibility of presenting more than two-dozen concerts. Only a special shakthi takes me through this phase — Gurukataksha. Even as I am all tense inside, as the sruthi gets aligned in a packed hall, I pay my customary obeisance to my guru setting the pace for a smooth take off." Out of her 26 seasonal participations, 15 were with M. L. Vasanthakumari. Sudha says: "In October 1990, just before my guru passed away, she held my hand and asked me to promise her that I would continue singing in every season in Chennai, including that year when I was in my advanced stage of pregnancy." Although Sudha cannot avoid the heavy and lustrous Bhairavi, Todi, Kalyani, Karaharapriya, Keeravani and Shanmukhapriya for her serious sabha elaborations, she is not able to shun requests for her tail-end pieces. "My concerts are a balance of the two." Her advice to young musicians is: "Don't be in a hurry to go on stage. Show the same alacrity in improving your fare with better sangatis and raga elaborations that will help you stay on stage for longer.""Dress and diet are the two more important Ds of December," adds Sudha, whose fans eagerly wait to see her colourful attire adding more décor to the harmonious ambience.