Three Instrumental Artistes of Bangalore…

Here are three people who play various Carnatic musical instruments, but music is only one part of their lives. To introduce them, I start with a photo of the recording session, as it would appear to the video cameraman:

Final recording

(er..that blue light behind my head is not my mood at being sweated and bitten half to death…it’s a light kept just behind me!)

And now, I would like to introduce the three people who accompanied me; each is such an interesting person.

According to concert protocol, I must first introduce Mr K V Raja Iyengar, the violinist. How old do you think he is? How old would you guess? I guessed 63 or 64…and learnt that he is…83 years old! Isn’t that incredible? He has been trained in both the Carnatic and North Indian styles of classical Indian music; is a recipient of the Karnataka Sangeetha Nrutya Award. He was on the staff of the Dharwad Station of All India Radio, and has been playing for longer than I have lived…On the day that I recorded my concert, he had played for artistes from 8am…and went home with us at 9 pm! He spoke of the days in Dharwad and it was like hearing history come alive before my eyes. Open-heart surgery has not limited his life, he says; he remains as active as he has ever been. His Kannada is not the “Bangalore” Kannada, but a stately, elegant version!

On the extreme left-hand side is Mr B N Ramesh, who plays the mridangam. I knew him, first, as the brother of the well-known flautist, Mr B N Suresh, who passed away at a very young age. Mr Ramesh has been in the corporate sector until recently, when his interest in tarot card reading suddenly took off in a big way, with many friends asking him to do readings for them. He took training in this arcane art in Chennai and now is into it almost full-time. He says new clients have been flocking to him after the newspapers carried articles about him, and word-of-mouth is also a major advertising factor for him. Mr Ramesh has been a good friend of mine for over a decade now. For tarot readings, you can contact him at

Between Mr Ramesh and me is Mr Satish Pathakotta, who plays the Khanjira, and also the mridangam (though he now concentrates on the former instrument.) Mr Satish lived in the US for 11 years before deciding that his children should grow up in India, and came back to reside in Bangalore. In the US,he says, he played for all the top artistes when they visited; here the competition is much more intense! He now works in the corporate sector, but his passion for music keeps him playing. He plays in the style of Karaikudi Mani. His son apparently came up to the finals of the Bournvita Confidence Champion television contest.

People are so fascinating…as you get to know them, you realize that the facet they show you is but one of several parts of their personality! I was happy to get to know my accompanists better, and salute both their talent for music and the other parts of their lives….

4 Comments so far

  1. Ravi (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 1:10 pm

    Any chance of getting this recording of yours on a CD?

  2. Bala (unregistered) on May 9th, 2007 @ 1:22 pm


    erroneously posted to metblogs instead of your personal one?

  3. Rk (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 3:21 pm

    Off topic:(I sent this to metblogs thru contact metblogs..but I thought it would better be here!)

    Can I submit few posts (though I can not become a regular member for metblogs). I submit and you post after you think it could be posted, is this way possible ?

  4. SHADOW (unregistered) on May 10th, 2007 @ 4:21 pm

    Yes, It is possible, However you wont be directly allowed to post on Metblogs but you have an option called “Suggest a story” in the right side of the website just above the author list or at this link

    Once we review the story and feel it can be posted on Metblogs we(any of the Bangalore authors) will post it.

    Thanks for the interest on Metblogs.

    Note: Story should be related to Bangalore.

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