“No, you are not joining the hatchery at Namakkal, for any salary. I will take care of you, you are good at music so stay with me” echoed Maestro Maharajapuram Santhanam to Dr Ganesh, a veterinary doctor, whose melodious voice attracted his mentor.
Dr Ganesh, the vocalist, owes every thing to his master Maharajapuram Santhanam, who was also instrumental in getting him a job with regard to his veterinary qualification.
What is the secret of the success of your guru?
He beams - You know, the secret of the success of my guru is that he presented Carnatic music in such a way, that it has satisfied the learned, as well as layman - ‘Panditha - Paamara - Ranjakam’. His music was a right combination of lakshaya and lakshana - sruti suddham, melody and bhava, were his basic, ingredients of success.
Do you think carnatic music is growing in the right direction?
It is certainly a welcoming trend. We see a lot of youngsters taking carnatic music, as their profession, since there is a lot of competition today, in this field, the chances of evolution of a new trend is very bright, as each competitor, wants to carve a niche for him. I am happy the way, it is growing.
What prompted you to resort to ‘Nama Sankirtanam’ also?
It has always been my opinion that ‘Nama Sankitanam’ is the birth place of carnatic music. In a lighter vein, I can say if ‘Nama Sankirthanam’ is sugarcane, carnatic music is sugar and light music is chocolate. Saint Thyagaraja has himself sung ‘chirutha prahya mulanaade bhajanaamrutha rasa veena’.
I was inspired by great bhajan singers like Sethaklapathy Soundararaja Bhagavathar, Udayalur Kalyanaraman and I feel, that while carnatic music takes me near god- Nama Sankirthanam makes me, embrace the deity.
Do you think only heredity—family linkage makes a musician?
In science we have two categories, genetic and acquired skills. Genetic skills are passed on to the next generation by the earlier generation, and acquired skills are, those, which are acquired by ‘hard work and practice’. I believe that fine arts like music is more genetically driven - Ibelong to the family lineage of great music composers Sri Kavikunjara Bharathi and Sri Kotiswara Iyer.
I am sure with a clear voice, simplicity in delineation with layam, and soulful presentation, Dr ganesh will ascend the ladder of fame very soon, with his tenacity to adhere to the technique of fusion of art and science.