Friday, September 19, 2014

Music World Mourns 'Mandolin Srinivas' Demise

Celebrated Carnatic music legend and pioneer in the use of the mandolin in Indian classical music, U. Srinivas, also popularly recognized as 'Mandolin Srinivas' passed away at the young age of 45 in a Chennai hospital.

Mourning his death Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in his condolence message said, “Mandolin maestro's U. Srinivas dedication and long-standing contribution towards music will always be remembered for generations”. 

Listen to Mandolin U. Srinivas Songs on Raaga.com

The tragic news of U. Srinivas sent shock waves in the music world. Bharat Ratna and Nightingale of Indian Music, Lata Mangeshkar tweeted, “I was deeply grieved listening the death of Mandolin maestro's U. Srinivas’s death. He was a child prodigy.” She added, “I had the privilege of listening him play mandolin when he was merely 13 or 14 year old on TV. He was truly gifted because playing mandolin so brilliantly at such a tender age is no child’s play. May his soul rest in peace.” 

Courteous, soft-spoken, unassuming, Srinivas was a simply man and let his mandolin do the talking. Music wizard A. R. Rahman stunned at the demise of mandolin genius in his tweet wrote, "Emotionally shaken to hear of Carnatic shining star Mandolin Shrinivasji's demise... May God bless him with happiness in the next world..."

Yet another music maestro Zakir Hussain, famed Tabla player pained at the loss of Srinivas tweeted, "Today mother India cries, today a part of Indian music died and we are orphaned, RIP my dear brother Mandolin Srinivas."

Born on Feb 28, 1969 in Palakolu, Andhra Pradesh, Srinivas was a child prodigy. He picked up his father's mandolin at the age of six and started playing it. He made his first public performance at the age of 9 when he played at the Thyagaraja Aradhana Festival in Gudivada. Since then, he performed at several music festivals, both nationally and internationally.

In his long career, he played with Indian greats artists such as Hariprasad Chaurasia and Zakir Hussain, while also collaborating with world music greats like John McLaughlin, Michael Brook, Trey Gunn, Nigel Kennedy, Nana Vasconcelos, and Michael Nyman.

In 1998, he was honoured with the Padma Shri award. He was also nominated for the Padma Bhushan but "grumbled" to his friends that he was not at all interested in the award race. Later in 2010, he was honoured with Sangeet Natak Academy Award.

Few may know that Srinivas was a favourite of the late Tamil Nadu chief minister, MG Ramachandran, who had first heard him perform at a wedding. "When MGR entered, someone told Srinivas to stop playing. But MGR came to the stage and told Srinivas to continue. He then instructed his attendants to make sure Srinivas played at all AIADMK party functions

Whose Expression Amitabh Bachchan Cannot Replicate?

Amitabh Bachchan, Star of Millennium has portrayed every emotions on the screen be it the famous angry man in DEEWAAR, the tragic doctor in ANAND, the fulfilled English Professor in CHUPKE CHUPKE, the happy go lucky street man in AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY, as village bumpkin in Don, as a don in AGNEEPATH, the mentally retarded yet witty 12-year-old boy with an extremely rare genetic disorder called progeria in PAA or the Alzheimer's disease infected ex teacher of Rani Mukerjee in BLACK. In nutshell, Bachchan is an all round actor which even the thespian Dilip Kumar concurs as he quotes, ‘Amitabh Bachchan is truly a complete actor.”

Listen to Amitabh Bachchan Songs on Raaga.com

However readers would be surprised to read that the actor in his blog has recently acknowledged that there is one person whose facial expression he is unable to replicate. He says the expression of the person has left him distressed as it is impossible to imitate his expression. Readers may wonder who the person in question is? 

Well, Bachchan, in his blog informs that he happened to encounter a poor boy at the traffic signal. He writes, “I was once driving home when I saw a boy lying on the pavement looking desperately hungry and weary. I felt pity. I got down from my car and shook the boy from his sleep and gave him a packet to eat and a hundred rupee note! The boy just seized the food packet form me and the note without caring who gave him. The expression on the face of the boy left me astounded. If ever I were to be capable of recreating that expression on the face of the little one, shaken up from his drowse, I would consider myself the greatest actor in the world!”