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Carnatic vocalist Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath. Wikimedia commons

She might have started her classical training at the age of three and given her first performance when she was 13-years-old. Music might have defined her eating and sleeping cycles. But she makes it clear that it was a beautiful childhood. “I had a strong support system, with different outlets in the form of badminton, swimming, and art. Of course, music has always been my greatest passion.”

Carnatic vocalist Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath, who was part of HCL Concerts Baithak recently, said her maternal and paternal grandmothers were instrumental in kindling her interest in music. “My maternal grandmother would sing to put me to sleep and would take me to concerts while my paternal one was instrumental in finding me my gurus with whom I had a very special relationship,” Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath said.


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Stressing that she continues to be fascinated by classical music as there is an endless amount of inspiration that one can draw from the same, the vocalist added, “Music has been a thread that has sewn generations together. Its power can be experienced in so many areas – music and learning, music and therapy, music and language. Carnatic music fascinates me because of the huge amount there is to learn and experience at all times during one’s musical journey. Every time I sing a composition or a raga, there is a certain freshness I feel, not experienced before.”

The recent lockdown which froze all arts activities, for her translated into space to step back and introspect on different aspects of her music. “I learned a lot of compositions and enjoyed singing and celebrating different ragas in just the spirit of music.”


Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath is working on several solo songs. IANS

While the government and state-aided academics did little to support artists during the bleak period, unlike their counterparts in the West, Raghunath says it was heartening to see many in the community come together in support of each other. “Some organizers worked tirelessly to disburse funds. There were also many senior artists who stepped up to the challenge and championed the cause of supporting the struggling musicians.”

Digital concerts may be a rage right now, but this classical singer feels that the beauty of a live performance is the wave of energy that encircles the artists and the audience. “The ability to share the joy of music with the audience that receives this and reciprocates it in the form of appreciation is what an artist lives for. To revel in the joy of music in togetherness is the binding force that is created by art. Having said that, online performances have helped art reach different corners of the world. Another specialty of online music is the sheer limitlessness on the number of attendees or the replayability.”

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Adding that every art needs its patrons, she feels that corporate houses like HCL were playing an important role by taking Indian musical forms to a global audience in a powerful way by leveraging the tech platform. “Their support is crucial to the growth of the community of artists as well as the audiences.”

Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath, who also paints and currently working on several solo and collaboration projects. “While some explore the beauty of Carnatic Music others celebrate the coming together of music and visual arts.” (IANS)


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The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

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Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

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