Rooted in tradition

Known for adhering to tradition and choosing rare kritis and ragas in her concerts, Mridula Aswin wants to bring together her passion for music and Sanskrit

By Author  |  Published: 7th Jul 2019  12:38 amUpdated: 6th Jul 2019  11:26 pm

Mridula Aswin was in Class V when she attended a spoken Sanskrit camp by ‘Samskrita Bharati’ for three months. “I don’t know how that spark got ignited and out of the blue Sanskrit became my passion. During that time, I decided to pursue a career in Sanskrit, says Mridula can read, write and converse in Sanskrit effortlessly. She’s currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Hyderabad in Sanskrit Shastras.

But, there’s more to this Hyderabad-based youngster than just a passion for Sanksrit. Mridula is a promising vocalist and also a graded artiste in All India Radio.

With a degree in English, Music and Sanskrit, Mridula gave 250 performances which she started in her 12th standard. “I received my initial training in Carnatic music from my mother Dr Radhika Ramachandran. Due to my father’s job, I was fortunate to come under the tutelage of Kalaimamani Maharajapuram Sri Nagarajan at the tender age of six and also had the able guidance of Sangita Mahamahopadhyaya (late) Brahmasri Kollegal Subrahmanyam. Presently, I am undergoing advanced training from guru Sri Neyveli Santhanagopalan. I really consider myself lucky for being trained under legendary gurus,” says Mridula who received Pandit Jasraj Award.

Family is the greatest support that an artiste can have, and Mridula is lucky to have such supportive parents and encouraging husband. Having performed in renowned sabhas like Sarvani Sangeetha Sabha, Chennai; Indian Fine Arts, Chennai; Kanchi Kamakoti Adhishtanam; Guruvayur Chembai Sangeetotsavam; Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam and all the prominent sabhas of Hyderabad, Mridula’s concerts have had good reviews.

“Once I was singing in Rasika Ranjana Sabha Trichy, taking part in the competition. It was a Purandara Dasa keertana Ksheerabdhi kannike that I was singing, where Mahalakshmi is the bride and during the swayamavaram Goddess Lakshmi is asked ‘who will you marry?’ The judges and the audiences were literally in tears with happiness, hearing the rendition,” says Mridula who feels the culture for classical music has grown, when compared to previous years.

As someone who gives equal importance to music and Sanskrit, Mridula feels that Sahityam is taking a back seat in the present music culture and the emphasis on manodharmam has extremely grown. “On the professional front, I will be going into academics and also do concerts. I intend to do research combining both, and I would like to arrange or organise some workshops to bring awareness about sahityam in music. Right now, there is so much importance give to the manodharmam, and not much importance to the sahityam and composer. We have ample space to do manodharmam in aalapana and neralav, but people are also doing in kriti – that is not required,” concludes Mridula, who has quintessential sweet voice.