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Shymala’s music gurukulam- Margazhi Music Darbar 2018-19

Carnatic music has always been on the list of the pleasant and charming concepts for the South Indians. The form of music is no wonder an entity that brings together like-minded people and also draws out more than just music.

West Mambalam, comprising of such Carnatic music enthusiasts has got a residence that gathers many of these enthusiasts under one roof, regardless of their age groups (There are students ranging from the age of five to 85). There is one woman they all adore not just for her singing talent, but for the woman she is and the way she carries herself.

As I neared the house of Mrs.Shyamala Krishnadas , I could feel the music filling the air. The house is invariably full of music and glee. I’ve been her student myself and have always felt at home there. It was no different this time either though I was there after a long time. However, I wasn’t there this time for a class, but at most to chat with her and some of her students belonging to my mother’s batch (Yes, my mother is one of her students too).

She has been conducting music classes since 1988. She is the choicest of teachers to teach “Pancharatna keerthanas” and “Kamalambal navavarnam”. She has taken several of her batches to Kalahasti, Kanchipuram, Thiruvarur and the Navagraha sthalas to perform the devotional krithis. She has inherited this gift of music from numerous Gurus.

All her students consider themselves “fans” of this beautiful singer. They are all praise for her. There is more than a reason to admire Mrs. Shyamala. She is one teacher who’d call you up to remind you of your class. She shrugged it off and told me that she does not want anyone to miss their classes and so she calls her students. Every one of her students gladly agrees that their relationship is more of a friendly one than a student-teacher relationship. Even during the music classes, they seem to have their lighter moments. One of her students admitted that they even discuss recipes at times.

Mrs. Shyamala is one teacher without any partiality. I belong to one of her young friends. She was indeed happy to claim “This is life”, pointing to her students. The students as well agreed that, their group is nothing less than an extended family.

Having music resonating 24/7 in your house isn’t possible without family’s support. Mrs.Shyamala told me that it was her family’s backing that played a predominant role in creating the “extended family”.

-Lavanya Ramakrishnan

Jan 23, 2019
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