Ranjani Sivakumar Siddareddy has gone beyond classical music performances through her tryst with yoga. Even as the songstress prepares to share the wonderful experience of integrating all the five senses viz. touch, sound, sight, taste and smell, Ranjani says, “The upcoming programme, in Hyderabad, over the weekend is all about the time spent with my classmate Divya Srinivasan and our informal meetings when I used to practise music while she practised yoga. I strongly believe that all the five senses are interconnected. In this show, live music would be continuously flowing into the ears of the participants while they do yoga and chant some syllables.” Further adding she says, “When we concentrate on any of the five senses, they silently grow upon us and open up a beautiful path in life. In fact, I have heard that to learn the Dhrupad form of music, it’s very important to know how to cook and do gardening,” she explains.
So, how did Ranjani’s interest in music take birth in the first place? Well, it’s always been in the family! “My father used to play the flute and my mother was a singer, not to leave out my grandmother who used to sing bhajans praising Lord Krishna. I feel that classical music has a great fan following all over the world. It’s a little important for all organisers to concentrate on providing a good ‘soundscape’ for the artiste to be at ease during his/her performance. The art of sound engineering is neglected in many programmes,” she reveals.
Interestingly, almost 14 years ago, Ranjani came to the city to work in a software company. Recalling that time, she narrates, “When I first came to Hyderabad in 2003, I was lucky to get introduced to Guru N.S Srinivasan who guided me in my music career. Identifying my potential to absorb the nuances of music, he suggested that I should leave all other commitments and devote myself full time to music. It was a tough decision, but after three years I finally quit my job and plunged into the beautiful journey of music. Of course, this corporate stint taught me to be more structured in my work, deal with different people and improve my efficiency. Since my husband got a job in the United Kingdom, I spent four years teaching music abroad.”
Ranjani returned to Hyderabad in 2010 and has been giving brilliant performances throughout the country ever since. “I kept up my yoga practice with Apoorva Gupta Jalan and have been teaching classical music to students from varied professions as well. There are many students who come to learn the basics of classical music so that it would always touch their lives from a different perspective,” she mentions.
Talking about the pros and cons of technology, the Carnatic singer says that even though technology has made life easier, it has made most of us forget the simple joys of life such as tasting food, listening to music or admiring our surroundings and living in the moment. “Without any intervention of a ringing mobile phone or an incoming message!” she adds. But above all, for Ranjani, music is the path that elevates her into a peaceful state of mind!...