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Rising Stars Dikshitha and Supraja Venkataraman - by Lakshmi Venkatraman
08 January, 2013

Siblings Dikshitha and Supraja, daughters of Uma and Venkataraman, though quite young, are busy in the Carnatic music circuit, particularly so in the recent times. While the older one Dikshitha is in the final year B.Com., Supraja is about to complete her 12th Std. and hopes to take up Fine Arts in college. Both of them had their initiation into music at an early age; Dikshitha used to win Sloka competitions when she was just 4 in her school, Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan, which impelled her parents to put her under Smt Kamala and later under Shanthi Jayaraman, with whom she continues to learn even now. 

Supraja used to tag along with her sister when she went for her music class, though she actually started learning when she was 7 years old under Dr. Lakshmi, who was basically a Veena artiste and a disciple of Vidwan T.N. Seshagopalan. In 2005 she joined Visweswararaman for learning violin; after a year she moved to C.N. Srinivasamoorthy and was under his tutelage for two years. Since 2008 she has been learning with senior violinist Smt. Lalitha Raghavan. 

Dikshitha on her part also began her coaching under senior Vidwan Prof. T.R. Subramaniam. In fact he offered to teach her after listening to her singing and judging her talent. At that time she was studying in 9th Std. While she continues to learn with him, both the sisters began to learn also under Smt. Raji Gopalakrishnan since 2007. Doesn’t learning under different Gurus at the same time affect her style of singing? “No”, affirms Dikshitha, saying that she picks the aspects she likes from each of them and makes them to evolve a style of her own. Attending several workshops on music has also helped her to be a discerning learner and listener. 

The sisters have performed vocal duet only twice so far. Dikshitha has got used to singing solo and finds it difficult to adjust singing with another person; “it curtails my freedom”, she declares; “Oh! Yes, it does”, Supraja agrees firmly. In fact during a concert suddenly she gets imaginative ideas, which she cannot execute when she sings with Dikshitha. Nevertheless she has accompanied her sister on the violin a number of times in her concerts. Though she occasionally performs vocal concerts, the younger sibling prefers the violin because “there is less competition; also I have problems with my voice and find it difficult to maintain it”. As of now she sticks to only “pakkavadyam” on violin. 

Dikshitha has not yet quite decided what to pursue after her B.Com., though she has no intention at any time of giving up music. She would certainly do M.A. in Music through correspondence; but she would like to take up a course on social work and try out some job in that field. Other than concerts at weddings, she would have given 200 recitals in the last 6 years; the last 3 years have seen her performing quite a number of ‘kutcheris’ during the Chennai December Season. 

Supraja wants to take up a course in Fine Arts as she is interested in creative work. Only in 2007 she had her first solo vocal concert and she has not performed much in Sabhas. But she has had several opportunities as violin accompanist, particularly for young artistes; she also frequently accompanies Smt. Kausalya Sivakumar and Kalyanapuram Veeraraghavan in their Kathakalakshepams. Like her sister she also is firm about continuing with her music. Both the sisters are grateful to Abaswaram Ramji for promoting them through his ‘Isaimazhalai’ scheme; besides programmes here, Dikshitha was taken toDubai, while Supraja went toMalaysia. 

Let us wish the youngsters a tuneful future!

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