I recently spoke about my treasured possessions for the "Pettagam" show on Makkal TV.
Let me tell you the story behind the "Best Vocalist Tambura prize" that I received from Shanti Arts Foundation Kutcheri contest back in 2002. I won a vintage Tambura presented by Sri Ramabhadran, of SAFE.
It was a week-long concert festival featuring various young singers. The judges including Sri K. S. Kalidas, mridangist, Sri. K. V. Krishnan, senior disciple of Sri Semmangudi, and Sri Chengalput Ranganathan, all highly accomplished seniors, awarded me the prize. I later learnt that the owner of the hall in which this was held, though neither a practitioner of the art nor even trained in it, took the liberty of opposing the decision of the veteran vidwans, all because he called himself a "patron" of music. He was firmly against giving me the prize, for reasons best known to him. Anyway, on that day, principle triumphed over pressure, and I won the prize.
Talented youngsters who participate in the plethora of competitions held these days, should take it in their stride when they are ignored. It isn't necessarily a reflection on one's calibre. Most of the competitions I participated in as a young girl were won by persons who are nowhere to be seen today! Never be disheartened; keep following your Muse!