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A sitarist for all senses

DC | Samyuktha K | August 11, 2014, 01.08 am IST
A return: Srinivas Reddy with poet William Bill Wolak
A return: Srinivas Reddy with poet William Bill Wolak

Hyderabad: Sitarist Srinivas Reddy can titillate all your senses. Originally from Vizag, the multi-instrumentalist even recently released a book; and if you visit his YouTube page, you will be introduced to the passionate foodie that he is too.

Reddy returned to the city this week, to perform alongside his poet friend William Bill Wolak. On Saturday evening, while Wolak, an eminent poet and translator from the US read out Persian love poetry by poet Hafez, Reddy mingled his music.

“The seed for the show that would incorporate Persian poetry and Hindustani music was sown in the last Hyderabad Literary Fest. This year, we performed in January here, before going to Ahmedabad. We are planning to take the show to Germany and the USA,” says the sitarist.

USA is where Reddy spent most part of his life. And the sitar happened naturally. A guitarist at first, he says, “I loved The Beatles,  Led Zeppelin and the like. In 1998, I picked up the sitar. It wasn’t a moment of epiphany as much as it was a natural evolution.”

Reddy trained under Partha Chatterjee, a disciple of the late maestro Pandit Nikhil Banerjee. “I went to California for training and would visit Kolkata often. It was in 2011, that I spent a lot of time with my guru that really helped,” says Reddy, now a professor at IIT, Gandhinagar.

Besides music, Reddy also pursues research in Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu literary traditions. Earlier this year, he released Kalidasa’s Malavikagnimitram: The Dancer and the King, which he translated from Sanskrit to English.

If his love for the Sitar and Sanskrit isn’t enough to prove how grounded and rooted Reddy is; while speaking about his book, he says, “That book is dedicated to my grandmother in Vizag,” says  the man, who often visits his paternal grandparents in the coastal Andhra city.

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