Journey

 

Guru from his childhood was highly inclined and was very responsive for beating or drumming. His father decided to put him on to a formal learning of Mridangam and he started learning Mridangam on 14th of November 1983 from Vidwan R. Sathya Kumar at Sri Ayyanar College of Music, which was run by Violin Maestro, Ganakala Bhushana Vidwan Anoor S. Ramakrishna.

Vidwan Sathya Kumar laid a strong foundation upon which Guru grew up learning the basics of Mridangam playing and this foundation enabled him for further learning. In 1988-89 time frame, he was selected for Karnataka State Scholarship for 3 consecutive years and during that time, Sathya Kumar insisted Guru Prasanna continue his further learning under Vidwan Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma (fondly called as Shivu sir).

In 1988, with the blessings from his Guruji, he started further training from the Genius, Layakala Prathibhamani Anoor R. Ananthakrishna Sharma, whom he considers as his GOD. With Shivu sir's style of teaching, imparting of knowledge and with his blessings, Guru was able to grasp the nuances of mridangam playing, following techniques, kriti-neraval-swara following etc. He also had the fortune of listening to many of Shivu sir's concerts which in itself was a great learning experience.

Along side learning Mridangam, Guru was also encouraged to play other instruments right from Anoor sir. He was playing ghatam, khanjira in the classes as well. Also, he got opportunities to perform along side his Guruji on these instruments. With this, he started enjoying playing, the challenges posed by the art of playing "Saha Pakkavadya" and the instrument as well.

With the blessings of Ananthakrishna Sharma and with a strong aspiration to achieve something in the field of Khanjira after being inspired by none other than the great Khanjira Maestro Vidwan G Harishankar, Guru started learning the Khanjira playing techniques from the maestro's premier disciple Nada Gambheera Vidwan C. P. Vyasavittala who runs the 'Harishankar School of Khanjira', of which Guru proudly says he is a part. As Guru says, "Vyasa sir has transformed me as a person and as a khanjira artist from what I was and Vyasa sir constantly pegs me to aim and achieve higher". Under the guidance of Vidwan Vyasavittala, Guru has been learning the art and nuances of Khanjira playing, practicing techniques, maintaining the instrument and many more. Vyasa Vittal Sir has imparted the techniques which the maestro innovated and Guru has been successfully putting it into practice and in his performances.

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