The Love for Veena
Story By: Asyura Mohd Roslan
Photos By: Seetha D/O Krishnan
The music scene today has a wide variety of genres ranging from pop, hip hop and even to a unique genres such as dubstep. With trends such as these, how often would you come across someone who is still passionate about traditional music?
Meet 19-year-old student, Seetha D/O Krishnan, who puts in effort to embrace her Indian heritage, particularly having keen interest in Indian classical music.
Seetha goes for Veena classes every Wednesday night, as part of her efforts in learning more about the art and beauty of Indian classical music.
Veena is a plucked string instrument that originated from ancient India and is commonly used in Carnatic and Hindustani classical music. There are several types of Veena ranging from those with frets and those without. Seetha plays the Saraswati Veena in particular, the one with frets.
Seetha first picked up the Veena early in 2011, she was 14 back then when she signed up for her first class at Shruthilaya Music School. The interest sparked in her as she was influenced by her parents, who exposed her to both the Indian culture and Indian classical music.
“I am lucky to have parents who taught my siblings and I about our own culture. Not only does it create interests among us, but it also keeps the tradition going and there’s so much to learn about it,” explains Seetha.
Indian classical music in general is not just a form of entertainment, it is also considered as a spiritual process in the Indian culture. The tunes are often packed with a lot of emotions and have the ability to affect one’s feelings, be it happy or sad.
“There’s this vibe that you will get, something like a good feeling when you hear Indian classical music. I can relate to it and it’s amazing how my people can come up with such beautiful music pieces,” shares Seetha passionately.
Seetha has indeed come a long way with her experience in playing the Veena. She took a short break in 2013 and later on joined a new Veena class in 2014 in a new school, Bhaskers Academy. As of today, Seetha has played the Veena for almost five years.
Seetha has encountered many people who often question her on this lesser known interest of hers in playing the Veena. These reactions are mainly from peers of her age group. Also being the youngest student in her Veena class, Seetha is aware that youths in the Indian community are not as inclined to the Indian culture as much as she is.
“I feel like youths should take the initiative to learn about our own tradition and culture. It’s a shame on the young generation if we don’t know much about it. Think about our future generations,” shares Seetha.
Seetha is also learning how to play the Venu, a type of Indian flute, or also known as pullankuzhal.
“I still constantly want to learn more about my culture because I want to keep traditions alive,” says Seetha with a smile on her face.