`If not music, what else?'

SIBLINGS SPEAK Raju, Ambi and Seetaa.

SIBLINGS SPEAK Raju, Ambi and Seetaa.   | Photo Credit: PHOTO: G. KRISHNASWAMY

Seetaa, Raju and Ambi chat up on music, law, medicine and parents Dr. L. Subramaniam and Kavita Krishnamurti

Seetaa is into western classical and fusion music. Raju alias Narayana loves ghazals and film music. Laxminarayanan, better known as Ambi, plays the violin and is passionate about classical and fusion music. Different people, different tastes. But what bonds these youngsters is their lineage. As daughter and sons of violin maestro Dr. L. Subramaniam and melody queen Kavita Krishnamurti, music is in their genes. The three have performed with their parents and with some of the biggest names in music for various concerts across the globe. They are in the process of bringing out their own albums soon. Mangala Ramamoorthy tunes in as the three begin to rediscover each other through the chat, while in Hyderabad for the cultural fiesta at Chowmahalla Palace with their parents. Seetaaa: Ok, now it's time you confess Ambi. Are you into music just because you don't want to study? Ambi: Hmmm... not exactly. I am too passionate about music. To think of it, if not music, what else? Seetaa: May be carpentry? (Bursts into laughter) Ambi: Seriously speaking, I cannot handle a 9 to 5 job. My parents have been a big inspiration in this. Seetaa: To tell you frankly, you are smart. It took me three years of Law College to discover what you just said. I think it has also got to do with the environment in which we grew up. There's music and creativity all around us 24/7. It is difficult for us to think of something other than music. I chose music over law, Ambi wanted to do music always, but Raju wants to do medicine. Raju: (In his first year of M.B.B.S) Medicine will be my career and music will remain my active hobby. It is something I can never let go off. Ambi: How do manage time between law and music? Seetaa: Academics have taken a back seat. Already in my final year, I am just trying to finish it to have a degree. I like law, but I will never be a lawyer. Raju: On the other hand, I want to be a doctor. But since I am passionate about music that will also continue. Seetaa: I have two questions for you Raju. Firstly, when did you start writing such sad poetries? I mean they are depressing and suicidal. And secondly, how did you choose ghazals? It is good, but how come? Raju: Poetry just happened. I cannot figure out how it started. I wrote and people like it. Ambi: His poetries are sad, but when he writes short stories they are funny. Two end of the same spectrum. Raju: I think I liked ghazals because of ma. It was with her that we got exposed to different kinds of music. I took a liking it and decided to take it up seriously. Seetaa: Not just performances, but even the kinds of music we listen to don't overlap. We are lucky, as our father never stopped us from doing anything musically. He says if you don't want to do classical, it's ok. Do jazz, pop, rock or whatever you want. Even ma is supportive. We can never compare ma (Kavita) with our mother (late Vijayasree). Both are different people. Actually speaking, initially ma was closer to us than to dad, so we had to do a bit of matchmaking between them. But not just as a person, but even musically she's a big influence on all of us. Ambi: Ma keeps saying that she still has a lot to learn. But when I hear her sing, I am just left wondering that she is already so great... what else can she learn more? But there are a lot of people who look down about film music, which I think is not fair. Seetaa: I don't think you can ever rank music. There's no good music or bad music. Ambi: In that sense, it is so fulfilling to be a stage artist. Especially play in countries that have never heard Carnatic music and see their instantaneous response. Seetaa: (Teasingly at Ambi) He has a big female following... Raju: Playing in front of an audience that doesn't understand your music is the biggest test. You just have to present what you can do the best. Seetaa: This happens to be all the time. Since I sing English music, I have to prove to people every time that I have all right to do what you want and I can do it. But there are many who think we have got a free ride. Ambi: We have to prove during every concert that we didn't get it easy. We are here because we deserve it and not because of our parents. My father says it's important that your co-musicians respect you, because you cannot fool them. Seetaa: You are playing at the Thagaraja Aradhana, where all strongholds of Carnatic music will be there. Are you scared? Ambi: Yes, I am. Hope it goes off well. Raju: The best way to prove your talent is by playing in front of people who are critical of you and be appreciated by them. Seetaa: Do you this we three can collaborate sometime for an album? Raju: We can try our hand at it in the near future.

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