An unexpected and incessant rain in the evening hours during my recent visit to Bangalore had a pleasant surprise for me. Although, I was very sad to miss one very important and pre-planned appointment with an Amrita TV forum family member, a friendly call to our Dear Sohanlal ji (Director of Raga Ratnam shows) created an opportunity for me to make a phone call to the family of Master Sanjay Nag, one of the contestants who participated in Raga Ratnam Junior from Bangalore. Many of you might be remembering him, as it is not easy to forget his authentic style of classical carnatic singing. What was meant to be a very short and informal session of 15 minutes became an extended session of knowledge sharing with him and his parents. I did not want to miss this opportunity to meet this budding artists as it was part of my TQM objective to have an insider report and also analyse it from a quality angle which may help the organisers to streamline and rectify the flaws if any when they plan to do a continuation of this prestigious show – Raga Ratnam Junior. Enjoy reading what Master Sanjay Nag has to tell you all.
Greetings to you Sankar Naag. You have been one of the contestants of the recently concluded Raga Ratnam Junior programme conducted by Amrita TV. Being the first ever talent hunt show of this calibre in the Indian Television industry for finding out the best amongst Carnatic Classical music, it gave a feast to all the rasikas and the contestants. It is the same interest of rasikas that made me now approach you for a brief and casual talk to find how your progress is after the post-elimination from this show.
1. Sanjay Naag, congratulations for participating in the Raga Ratnam Junior Competition and getting selected to the top 15 level. How did you hear about this programme?
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2. How did you find the different stages of the competition? Particularly on the challenges thrown to you to perform non-Carnatic items like Jugal Bandhi and Nritha Sangeetham round.
Intriguing, Challenging & Exiting. Facilitated me to familiarise with the very versatile & different genres of Music.
3. Who is your Guru? Could you please give us an idea how you went about preparing for each round.
Dr. K. Varadarangan, Musician & Musicologist.
Learning by self & getting resource through experts in respective fields.
4. How was the support given by the Amrita TV channel in terms of co-ordination and arrangements for contestants like you who were situated far away from Trivandrum?
Very warm & inviting in each & every respects (Coordinators, accommodation, food, conveyance & arrangements) In a word Excellent.
5. How do you rate the grooming sessions before each stage of this competition? Did you all get sufficient notification about each stage and also did you get sufficient guidance about how your performance should be for each one of them?
Excellent. Each grooming session helped me to over grow my capacity and potential. Yes, got sufficient notification & guidance
6. How do you rate the other contestants who participated along with you? Did you all get along well?
High edged competitiveness among contestants was evident.
Yes, very friendly and accommodative fellow contestants.
7. Was there any stress on you with regards to the SMS votes / campaign which was a part of the requirement for getting through to the next level in each stage? How did you work on this, especially in your case, being an outsider from Kerala, being a non-Malayalee and coming from a place outside Kerala.
Uncertainty, anxiety & excitements used to fill my days. Earnestly & eagerly looking forward to each round of viewer’s verdict / counting.
Realised that Music is beyond any state or Language especially viewers from other states and countries encouraged me.
8. What do you rate amongst the various stages for this particular competition as the toughest round? What was the reason that made you say this particular round as very challenging.
Film Song round. Difficulty in getting right accent for Malayalam lyrics. My breaking voice also proved to be bothersome.
9. Looking back at this competition after elimination, do you feel, the stages set after your elimination makes you feel that you could have performed well in those?
Yes, very much
10. How often you give concerts? How many hours normally you practise?
Due to breaking voice currently I have refrained from concerts as per my guruji’s advice
11. Other than vocal, are you learning any musical instruments?
Yes, I am learning Mrudangam
12. I understand you are good at playing cricket and can bowl relatively fast. Tell me something about your activities other than those involved with music.
Painting, Pencil sketching and playing electronic games.
13. How are you in studies? Which grade/school you are attending and what was the reaction from the school, your friends and well wishers when they came to know about your participation in Raga Ratnam Junior?
Very good, X std. Hymamshu Jyothi Kala Peetha, Malleswaram, Bangalore.
Very proud and encouraging. Every one began watching RRJ episodes in Amtita channel & even demanded for the channel telecast from the cable operators.
14. Being a resident of Bangalore, did you get any support/recognition from the numerous Malayalee associations based in Bangalore?
15. Who is your favourite Carnatic musician? And who else do you like to follow closely from the music world?
Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna & I would like to follow my guruji, Vidwan
16. What are your future plans? What do you want to become – musically and otherwise?
Hope & desire to be into music & sustain the priority of Music Classical, whatever be the style. Academically hoping to be a Scientist in pure Sciences.
17. Do you get noticed when you travel to Kerala after participation in this show. How do you handle this popularity / recognition/encouragements.
Yes, viewers recognised me as a very competitive contestant from the show at various public places.
This encourages me to grow, learn and devote more time to Music.
18. Tell me anything additional you want to include here
This is the most memorable event in my life. Over whelming and of high calibre. Looking forward to more and such opportunities. The pioneering task taken by Amrita and their total involment and commitment into promoting genius classical music is commanding. Throughout my participation, I constantly experience an urge to be more than what I was at that movement and instilled a power full desire to take music seriously and made me a confident person.
A musical Profile of Master B.R. Sanjay Nag
Personal Particulars : Born 6.11.1993 at Bangalore
Master Sanjay Nag is a top-ranking student, presently studying 9th standard in Hymamshu Jyothi Kala Peetha, Malleshwaram, Bangalore with special interests in Science & Mathematics. He is inquisitive and hard working.
Master Sanjay Nag belongs to a family with a rich heritage of artists, Scholars, Musicians and writers. It includes well-known scholars like Vidhushi Kamakshamma (Vocalist & Veena Player),Vyakhyana Vachaspathi & Gamaka Gayaka Vidwan K.S. Venkatadri Sharma, Vidwan Ravishankar Sharma (Mrudangist), Vidwan Srikanth Sharma(Violinist), Vidhushi Dr. Joythsna Srikanth (Violinist).
Born with an innate musical talent, Master Sanjay Nag began his music lessons from his mother at a very young age of 5 years, Vidushi K.V. Sowbhagya and continuing his advanced lessons in music under the able guidance of Guru Vidwan Dr. K. Varadarangan. In the year 2005 he passed the junior music examination with distinction securing 98.25 %. Extensive listening, constant practice and innovative guidance of guru made Master Sanjay Nag a budding Karnatic Vocalist. He is also learning Mrudangam from Vidwan T.S. Chandrashekar.
He has won the Prize from Sri Ramasevamandali, Chamarajpet in the Junior Concert Competition held in Fort High School during Ramanavami Festival during the year 2007.
He won 2nd prize in Mridangam competition conducted by the most prestigious Sabha of Bangalore, The Gayana Samaja in the Month of August 2007 in Junior Category.
He won Ist prize in both Karnatic Classical Vocal & Devaranama competition conducted by the most prestigious Sabha of Bangalore, The Gayana Samaja in the Month of August / September 2002 in sub junior category & also Junior Category in July 2004.
He won Ist prize in Both Karnatic Classical Vocal & Devaranama Competition conducted by the Malleswaram Sangeetha Sabha in the month of January 2003 (Sub Junior) & 2004 (Junior).
He won the Ist prize & recipient of “Mr. Voice” award from Carnatica.com, competition conducted by Vidhushi Sowmya, Vidwan Sashikiran& Vidwan Ravikiran in the year 2004.
He won I st prize in competition conducted by Music Academy, Bangalore in the year 2005
He won the Ist prize from Kamala T Avadhani Memorial Trust, competition conducted by Bettadapura Sankethigala Sangha, Koramangala, Bangalore in the year 2005.
A recipient of “Prathiba Shree” award from Kannada Patrika Balaga in the year 2003.
A recipient of “Bala Pratibe” award (Gamaka) from Department of Kannada and Culture, Govt. of Karnataka in the year 2004
A recipient of “2004 Aralu Mallige” award from Gnanamandara Educational & Cultural Academy in the year 2004.
A recipient of “Bala Kala Gandharva Rathna” award from Kalavikasa Parishath, Gadag in the year 2005.
A recipient of “Bala Kalashree” award from Balabhavan Sponsored by Depatment of Women and Child Development, Karnataka Government, in the year 2005.
He has attended the National Level “Bal Shree” selection Camp held in the month of December 2006 at Bal Bhavan, New Delhi, after completing the selection process from the state & Zonal Level Selections in Bangalore & Hyderabad respectively.
At the age of 9 years, he gave a programme in “Chiguru” (for 45 Minutes), which was held on 16.2.2002 in Bal Bhavan, Bangalore conducted by Department of Kannada & Culture, Government of Karnataka.
A solo Performance accompaniment for dance programme in Gayana Samaja, Bangalore was arranged on 14.11.2002 & also in Gubbi Veeranna Theater, Tumkur on 14.11.2003 on the occasion of “Children’s day” arranged by AIR, Bangalore which was telecasted by all the T.V. Channels and All India Radio, Bangalore.
He has given many programs in different occasions for “Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam, Bangalore” which were much appreciated both from the Organizers and audiences.
He is graded as an Artist in Children section of Karnatic Vocal music, All India Radio Bangalore in the year 2003 & his program was broadcasted on 5.10.2003.
Recently he sung for a Tele Serial “Violin Subbanna” which was telecasted which was produced by “Prabhat Kalavidaru” and won many appreciations.
He has attended and won many prizes and appreciations from the prestigious sabhas of the Bangalore like ISKCON-Bangalore, R.T. Nagar Cultural Association, Gopinathdas Nyasa, Girinagar Sangeetha Sabha, Tyagaraja Gana Sabha, Vamshi Academy of Music, Sruthi Sidhura, etc.
Sanjay Naag – Manodharmam round Amrita TV Raga Ratnam Junior
Sanjay Nag during his elimination from Raga Ratnam Junior competition
You may contact Master Sanjay Nag at:
Master Sanjay Nag
# 12, “Lakshmi Nilaya”
Anjaneya Temple II Street
BANGALORE – 560 020.
Ph: 094482 01569 / 094480 79658
Wishing Sanjay Nag the very best in his journey through the Ocean of music, I rushed to the new Bengaluru airport to make sure I did not miss my flight.