India, the Punyabhoomi is home to great saints, myths, traditions, and culture. It is abundantly rich in holy and spiritual places whose practices rem...
Bharatveer – V. V. Prassanna
The handsome and charismatic V. V. Prassanna was at his best while catching up with the Verandah Club. Prassanna had a punishing schedule. However, he displayed remarkable interest over a long chat. The singer, devotee, and composer began to learn under his mother, Indra Venkatesan. His grandfather, Fiddle (Violin) P. R. Ramachandra Rao had played for M. S. Subbulakshmi, D. K. Pattammal, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar and Yesudas those days. Gopu Bai Ramachandra Rao happened to be the niece of the famous flutist, Palladam Sanjeevi Rao.
"I began learning under my mother. My other teachers were Subba Rao, S. R. V. Sharma, S. V. Viswanathan, and K. V. Nataraja Bhagavathar. It was Nataraja Bhagavathar who trained me in Kalpana Swaram and Ragam. While Sanjay Nadkarni taught me Hindustani, my other teachers are Neyveli Santhanagopalan, Kailasam and Jayakumari. I need to learn a lot more and am sure that many more will teach me during the times to come," smiled V. V. Prassanna. This singer was blessed with the looks of a hero. He studied at Sowdeswari School and later at S. N. R. Sons College (Sri Ramakrishna College of Arts and Science) in Coimbatore. The Computer Science graduate was known as 'Padikaadha Paiyan' (the boy who was not studying). This boy won a number of prizes while participating in music contests.
Prassanna spoke at length about his journey. He spoke about the songs 'Molachu Moonu Elaiye…' and 'Kooda Mela Kooda Vachu…' and hummed a few numbers too. Of course, 'Alangaren Kulungeraen' was part of the discussion. He remembered singing for Ilayaraja (Nethu Patha - 1000th movie). Prassanna had rendered 5000 devotional songs and more than 1000 movie songs. He had performed in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Norway, Germany, France, UK, Switzerland, Sri Lanka and Canada. His music would hopefully land in the USA pretty soon.
"I can never forget my concert in Melbourne, Australia. My voice got muted all of a sudden. I somehow managed to deliver. It was my most difficult concert. Had to use all my talent. It was the time when I stayed at the residence of Dr. Usha. I was advised not to sing for 6 weeks. On my return, I got a call from Imman and I wanted to say no. Somehow, I went and sang the song 'Koodamela Kooda Vachu' and it was a nice hit. I am grateful to Saint Raghavendra. He is my God and Guru. I must say that he bestows his grace by seeing me all the time. It was on a Thursday night that I composed the song, “Janaki Rama Unnai…Poojai Seivaen...Raghavendrarin Darisanam Orutharam Tharayoe.” Usually, the help of the Guru is sought for seeking God, but I sought the help of Lord Rama to see my Guru, Raghavendra." stated Prassanna.
The singer has composed over 15 songs and his compositions include one on Athi Varadar. He wears many hats and now he is a music director too in ‘Kalari’. Many more are in the offing. Prassanna is ready to don the grease paint provided the role suits his appearance. The Coimbatore Mappillai is inspired by Ilayaraja. His favourite composers are Purandara Dasa and Thyagaraja. "The songs, 'Ega Madalo Rama Dhyanava' (Purandara Dasa) and 'Endaro Mahanu Bhavulu’ (Thyagaraja) are amongst my favourites." added Prassanna.
He spoke about his current project to the Verandah Club. "I am rendering the Raghavendra Stotram in a meditative style. Eight more songs are part of this collection and will be released on 20/03/2021 at Mantralayam.” The humble director is happily married to Bharathi and they were blessed with the budding singer, Sreshtaa. The young singer had rendered the video, 'Bhagyadha Lakshmi' in a fantabulous manner and it is going great guns now. The video had been done in a tasteful manner.
Prassanna is very particular about his pronunciation. He uses numbers above the Tamil script. This method is adapted from the Hindi and Telugu alphabet systems says he. In fact he uses larger alphabets in places were the pronunciation needs to be stretched. Say he writes as follow, 'rAghvEndhrA'. The Coimbatore boy is endowed with the looks of a hero. While Idli is his favourite food, Badam Halwa from Sri Krishna Sweets (Coimbatore) is his favourite sweet. "My father-in-law, Gopal would get us the Badam Halwa from Sri Krishna Sweets while coming from Coimbatore. I would join my daughter, Sreshtaa and savour the tasty sweet almost immediately. Prassanna talks in 'Mariyadhai Tamil' (Tamil rendered with respect) and is ever happy to flaunt his Coimbatore origin.
Critics are of the view that the potential of V. V. Prassanna is vastly untapped. Therefore, the best is yet to come. It is earnestly hoped that Prassanna would deliver a hit by donning the role of the great composer, Purandara Dasa in a movie which will hopefully be a trend setter in the musical genre.
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