Colombo, December 16 (The New Indian Express): Rajkumar Bharathi, a great grandson of the Indian nationalist poet Mahakavi Subramania Bharathi and a music composer in his own right, will be speaking at the January 26, 2017 Republic Day function at the Indian Consulate in Jaffna, Consul General M.Natarajan told Express on Friday.
“Rajkumar Bharathi had expressed a desire to visit Jaffna and we invited him to attend the 68 th. Republic Day function here on January 26, 2017 as a Special Guest, and address the gathering at the flag hosting ceremony,” Natarajan said.
Last week, the Consulate General celebrated the 134 th. birth anniversary of Subramania Bharathi. A well-known scholar and public speaker from Tamil Nadu Nellai Kannan spoke on Bharathiyar to a huge and distinguished audience here.
“In fact, we had invited Rajkumar Bharathi for this function, but he could not make it due to prior commitments,” Natarajan said.
Rajkumar Bharathi is a well known musician and composer in Tamil Nadu and other states of South India. A child prodigy with a blue-blooded lineage, he tragically lost his voice at the peak of his career. But that did not deter him from pursuing a career as a music composer. His determination won him the Sangeet Natak Akademi Music for Dance Award for the year 2015.
Rajkumar Bharathi was born in 1958 to Venkatasubramanian and Lalita Bharathi, the younger daughter of Thangammal Bharathi, the second of Bharathiyar’s daughters.
He was only five, when he started showing glimpses of his musical talent. He could pick up tunes from the radio and render difficult swaras with ease. Seeing his talent, his father put him under the tutelage of music teacher Valliyur Gurumurthy.
In 1975, he won the Tambura Prize, which helped him get a major slot in the Chennai December Music Season at Indian Fine Arts. He trained under T. V. Gopalakrishnan because of his interest in Hindustani music, and also took lessons from Balamuralikrishna.
In 1980, he took up a job as an R&D engineer in a company, where he worked on defense-related projects. But he left it later to pursue a musical career full time on the advice of T.V.Gopalakrishnan.
During Subramania Bharathi’s centenary year celebrations, he was asked to sing his great grandfather’s compositions on television.
Placyback singing in films also came his way. Maestro M.S.Viswanathan used him in Ezhavadu Manidhan which featured a Bharathiyar song. His playlist comprises over 150 songs in all South Indian languages. He has also composed music for dance and sung for famous dancers. It was at this stage of his career that he was afflicted with dysphonia and lost his vocal chords. Since then he has been composing music only.
(The featured image at the top is that of Rajkumar Bharathi)