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Nation Other News 23 Feb 2019 Classical music to a ...

Classical music to astrophysics: Sky is the limit for this teen

Published Feb 23, 2019, 2:46 am IST
Updated Feb 23, 2019, 3:04 am IST
And now in the short span of a decade, Vinayaka M has over 450 awards to his name in various fields.
Vinayaka Receiving Bal Shakti Puraskar from President Ram Nath Kovind
 Vinayaka Receiving Bal Shakti Puraskar from President Ram Nath Kovind

By the time he learned his first words, Vinayaka M. had begun to show prodigous musical talent. He began training as a three year old and has won over 450 awards in various fields. He is still only 15, with academic interests in astrophysics and quantum mechanics. The versatile young musician also just became one of six children from the state to receive the Bal Shakti Puraskar from President Ram Nath Kovind

Barely 15 and a versatile musician, Vinayaka M can already play the  tabla, harmonium and western keyboard with equal ease. Astoundingly, his musical journey began not soon after he learnt to speak as a toddler as it was as a three -year -old that he began to train in Hindustani classical music.  And now in the short span of a decade, he has over 450 awards to his name in various fields.


But the latest has to be his crowning glory. Vinayaka was one of  six children from the state to receive the Bal Shakti Puraskar from President Ram Nath Kovind in Delhi on January 22, which saw him take home a prize of Rs 1 lakh, a book voucher for Rs 10,000, a medal, certificate and a citation. Versatility is clearly his middle name as not only does this wonder kid from Bengaluru excel in playing a variety of musical instruments, but also composes music.

His many compositions include ragamalika, holi and maleyabillimele, which have won him appreciation even from the stalwarts of the music industry.  Elated after his return from Delhi , he gushed that interacting with the President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were memorable moments that he would cherish forever. Besides, being a part of the Republic Day parade was a dream come true, he tells you.

His national award followed the state award, ‘Kalashree’ that he won for excellence in Hindustani classical music in 2015. But like the prodigy that he is, he has not let his passion for music come in the way of his academic performance. A 10th grade student of the National Public School, Koramangala, he is a two-time gold medallist of the IAIS, Australia In Science Exam (2011 and 2015) and has been felicitated by the Science Olympiad Foundation for ranking first in NSO and second in IMO in  2011 and 2012 respectively.   

“His love for music, art and culture has never dented his academic performance till date,” says his mother, Nagaveena M. with satisfaction and obvious pride in her son.

In fact, his academic interests lie in astrophysics and quantum mechanics, Vinayaka informs you quite matter- of- factly, wearing his intellectual abilities and achievements lightly.

While he may owe his sterling academic performance in part to his school teachers, he has his gurus to thank for his excellence in music. He acknowledges that Vidushi Rohini K. M,  whom he has been training under in Hindustani classical music for the last 12 years, was instrumental in sowing a passion for music in him and is grateful for the training he has received in playing the tabla  from Pandit Srikant Devipur.  Leo Camilo has taught him the  western keyboard and his  mentor, he says, is Pandit. Jagadeesh Irsung.

Bu , hold your breath, there is more. Vinayaka is so good at art that he won the international gold medal from Kshitij in 2010,  the national gold medal from Lalit Kala Academy in 2009, and the Balakala Nipuna from the Chitrakala Academy the same year.

It’s hard to label him as the teen has won medals in club and inter-club competitions too as part of the “Esther Roller Skating Club.”

 With his talents and interests it’s safe to say that one has not heard the last of his achievements. After all, being an aspiring astrophysist, he may well hitch his wagon to a star and let it guide him where it will whether in the field of music, art or academics, proving to one and all that the sky does not have to be the limit.