The Three Gems

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The Three Gems
Friday May 30 2008 11:46 IST Express Features Thiruvananthapuram

ONE is quite tensed, the other one is very serious about the whole thing and the third one is absolutely cool. This is what we felt as we caught up with Arjun Krishna, Harisankar and Mahadevan respectively, the three finalists (all hailing from Thiruvananthapuram) of Ragaratnam Junior, the reality show to find the best talent in Carnatic music, aired by Amrita TV.

The first prize winner will win Rs 3 lakh. The second and third prize winners will get Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh respectively. Besides V Dakshinamoorthy and the house judges of the show, ie Binni Krishnakumar, Sriram and Kavalam Sreekumar, the final will have three celebrity judges who are doyens in the field of Carnatic music.

“I have to do well and so I am practising regularly in the morning and evening,” said Harisankar, a Class IX student of Infant Jesus School, Kowdiar. And giving him all encouragement is his father Alleppey Sreekumar, assistant professor, Swathi Tirunal Music College, Thiruvananthapuram.

“Now I am taking lessons from my grandmother also,” said Hari, referring to music exponent Prof K Omanakutty. He is all praise for the show. “I have learnt about many aspects of music through this show,” said Hari, who hopes to make it big in music field some day. “I want to make a mark in different kinds of music and become a good musician,” he added.

He has already sung in four films- Valkkannadi, Saphalyam, the remake of Vigathakumaran and Rishivamsham.

“I have done well in the kacheri round. I also got appreciation in Ragam Thanam Pallavi and Thillana rounds too,” said Hari, who is the elder son of Sreekumar and Kamalalekshmi. “I have got support from all my family members,” he said.

Arjun Krishna had made ripples in music field before he became a participant in Ragaratnam Junior, thanks to the 10 songs he sang in the musical film Anandabhairavi. However, the show has been a different game altogether, he said.

“It has been a really good experience for me. It is because of the show that I learnt Pancharatnakeerthana and I have learnt a lot sitting through different rounds,” said Arjun, a Class X student of Christ Nagar School.

His teacher and guru has been his father M Balakrishnan, music teacher with Karikkakam Government HS. Besides Anandabhairavi, Arjun has also sung in Oruvan.

“Through the show I could reach out to more people. And I have got appreciation from viewers outside the country also,” said Arjun. He considers kacheri round and Meera bhajan round as his best ones. “I am a bit tensed. But, hope to do well in the final. May the talented one get the prize,” said Arjun.

Mahadevan, who has won scores of fans through not just his music but also his infectious smile, is quite a happy-go-lucky fellow.

“I have no tension. I just want to go there and sing well, that’s all. I never thought I would reach this far,” said Mahadevan, who is a Class VI student at Shantiniketan School, Peyad. “He is very young and so naturally he is pretty easy going. He is a bit lazy about practicing,” said V Jayalakshmy, Mahadevan’s mother, who is a school teacher. His father Sriram is doing business.

It was Lalitha, his paternal grandmother who initiated him into music. “She started teaching me veena first. Then I started learning singing from her. Now I learn from Kavalam Sajeev. Actually my veena recital in the show was much appreciated,” said Mahadevan. He had also scored well in Thillana round and sargasangeetham round.

The final will be held at University Senate Hall this Saturday from 6 p.m. Entry to the venue has been restricted by free pass. To obtain the same, do contact 9847171137. The event will be telecast on Amrita channel on June 8 from 6.30 p.m. onwards.