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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 30, 2007
Visually impaired Keralite wows classical music aficionados
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Visually impaired Keralite wows classical music aficionados

M.Vijayalakshmi, a visually-impaired woman in Kerala, is adding delight to the world of music by playing Veena, an Indian classical stringed instrument, at national and international concerts.

By Juhan Samuel

Vaikom (Kerala), May 30 : M.Vijayalakshmi, a visually-impaired woman in Kerala, is adding delight to the world of music by playing Veena, an Indian classical stringed instrument, at national and international concerts.

Twenty-six-year-old Vijayalakshmi is blind by birth but she has made herself an artiste of distinction.

Practicing on the Indian musical instruments, since she was five Vijayalakshmi has emerged as an icon of sorts in Kerala's Vaikom town for her Veena recitals.

She chanced upon a makeshift instrument made from a plastic bottle for the first time during her childhood, which opened the world of music for her.

But for someone whose own life is engulfed in darkness, to compose beautiful and soul-stirring music is nothing short of an achievement.

"Blindness has never been an impediment to me or my music, as I have dedicated my entire life for music and want to do a lot more. My main ambition is to pursue a Doctorate in Music for which I have already started preparing," said Vijayalakshmi.

Vijayalakshmi plays the 'Gayatri Veena', which is a modified version of a regular Veena, done by her father, Murleedharan, an electronics expert.

The father has improvised the instrument by removing strings from a regular model and preparing a one-string Veena for Vijayalakshmi and attaching it with an amplifier so that Vijaylakshmi can play it comfortably.

She claims to know over 500 ragas or melodies apart from having an uncanny ability to copy a tune by just listening to it once.

"We were very disappointed to have a blind child when she (Vijayalakshmi) was born. But now we are proud of her talent and accomplishment. We are grateful to the God for gifting us such a child. She knows over 500 ragas and various devotional songs. She can play a tune even if she may have heard it once. This is really a great thing," said V.urleedharan, Vijayalakshmi's father.

Vijayalakshmi's performance at various national and international concerts has won her many awards and laurels.

She has set her aim further high and is a guiding light for many such people who are bogged down by handicap.

Famous nineteenth century German composer Robert Schumann once said: "To send light into the darkness of men's hearts-such is the duty of the artist."

ANI

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