Adding their strings to the divine melody

Published: Friday, Mar 30, 2012
By Sandhya C D'Souza | Place: Bangalore | Agency: Deccan Herald

Bangalore echoed with the melodious symphony created by 1,110 Veena artistes who performed on one platform in a unique concert titled ‘Sahasra Veena Jhenkara’ on March 28.

The first of its kind concert organised by Art of Living and Ranjini Kalakendra had Veena artistes from more than eight districts across Karnataka attempting to get their names registered in the Limca and Guinness book of world records.

Mangalore too contributed to this historic event with 50 artistes from Shree Vani Veena Vidhya Kendra in Kadri performing at the concert.

Speaking to City Herald, Vidushi S V Vaniraj who coordinated the Mangalore team says that the experience is beyond words.

“I was contacted by Ranjini Kalakendra Secretary Dr Suparna Ravishanakar about two months back. She requested if I could arrange a team from Mangalore. I assured to arrange at least 15, however, I managed to convince 50 artistes to perform at the event,” she says and adds that there were artistes aged 13-63 in the team.

Suparna had sent a CD with ancient ragas Hamsadwani, Sriraga, Mohana, Mayamalavagowla, Brindavani, Kapi, Dhanashree (Thillana), Yaman and a special composition of fusion music in Raga Malika which was to be performed at the event. “I trained my students accordingly,” said Vani.

“Practice was a challenge. We had limited time and all the artistes could not meet at the same time. Hence, I asked them to come at whatever time it is convenient to them. However, I ended up playing Veena for the whole day,” smiles Vani. She further adds that sometimes she took up classes on video chat messengers and solved doubts on phone by keeping it on loudspeaker.

“When the day approached, we all managed to meet on the terrace of one of my student’s apartment for the final practice. We hired two buses to take us to Bangalore,” she says.

“The event in Bangalore was a heavenly experience. All female artistes were draped in same coloured sarees, which were provided in advance. All men wore white kurtas. The stage was huge. We performed for more than one hour,” says Vani and adds that the results of the Guinness and Limca records are yet to come. The videos will be checked before the results are announced, she reveals. “It was a wonderful experience. It was like a dream come true. The event was organised with discipline,” says Besant College Lecturer Yogeshwari who also performed at the event.

“There were fewer men compared to the ladies. In Mangalore team, there were around 5 men. The experience will be memorable,” says Vani’s son Sai Danush who performed at the event.

About S V Vaniraj
S V Vaniraj hails from a family that has achieved laurels in the world of music. Her father S V Venkateshaiah started Shree Vani Sangeetha Vidyalaya in Bangalore in 1953. Vani was trained by R K Shreenivas Murthy and R K Suryanarayan. She has been teaching Veena for over 25 years. Recently, she organised an unique fusion ‘Nada, Nritya, Chitra, Yaksha’ at Kadri temple.

Here, Bharathanatyam and Yakshagana artistes performed for the music played by the artistes on Veenas. An artist painted the emotions created by the dance and music on canvas.