Why should boys have all the fun? If Amrutha Mohan raises this question, it would make sense. This multi-talented 19-year-old degree student in All Saints’ College in the city has the expertise to outsmart boys of her age. Until a few weeks back, her routine ride to college from her home in Enchakkal was in a Harley Davidson of her uncle. But riding the heavyweight bike is no big deal for a girl who enjoys flying aircrafts. Until receiving her new Enfield Thunderbird, she chose to ride on the motor-bikes of her cousins. Though she owns a scooty, she hardly touches it as her love for bikes is immense. “Exchanging our two wheelers is funny. When I ride the bike to college, they reach college on my two-wheeler,” she says.
Being the only child, she was raised like a tomboy right from the childhood days. At the age of seven, Amrutha got initiated into the world of Kalaripayattu. Her first ‘guru’ was her father who is trained in martial arts.
“I never considered martial arts a men’s reserve. We wanted our daughter to excel the art form,” her father says. Later she underwent training in the Bodhidharma school. Now she is a student of CVN Kalari in the city and has made more than 10 public performances so far.
Her skill in the male domain does not end here. The five-time winner in drums at the State School Youth Festival had beaten 17 boys in the competition once. She manages a band ‘Skylark’ on her own. The uniqueness of the band is that all her team members are men. Blending classical and western music, the team takes the audience to a musical high.
Kirtans of Muthuswami Dikshithar beginning with ‘Mahaganapathim...’, ‘Samajavaragamana...’, Swaminatha Paripalayasuma...’ have been remixed by the ‘Skylarks’. As the performance reaches its peak, Amrutha can be seen crooning folk songs in Malayalam. ‘Ninne kaanan Ennekkalum...’ and ‘Pallivalum...’ are her popular numbers.
“We feel, the listeners must get into the carnatic-western blend through a smooth transition. Folk music can impart that feel so quickly,” Amrutha points out. Well accustomed to the intricacies of veena and chenda, she has participated in the solo ‘chenda’ competition in the Kerala University Youth Festival.
With numerous skills at hand, Amrutha prefers to be a pilot in future. She has been selected as the fifth best pilot in the All India Flying Contest conducted by Indian Airforce in Bangalore in 2011. Amrutha holds a proud record of 38 flying hours to her credit. She also does anchoring for a television programme featuring automobiles.
Managing all these with elan, she wakes up early in the morning. “It is the only time when I can sit back and study. The evenings after college is for learning drums and Kalari.”
College mates affectionately call their dear chairperson ‘Rinpoche’. She does not know why she has been entitled the honorific of the little Buddhist monk in the film Yodha.
“I am popular in the college as Rinpoche than Amrutha. Just ask for Rinpoche in the college and somebody will bring you to me,” she smiles.