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Ajay Namboodiri

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

The artistic pursuits of Ajay Namboodiri manifest the above perceptive observation of the German writer Berthold Auerbach. A practitioner of South Indian classical music in the Carnatic format over the past decade and a half AjayNamboodiri or Ajaya Kumar Pulleri Vadhyaan has enriched countless musical sessions and sabhas (institutions) through his soulful, crystalline art. This vocalist has performed in various parts of India as well as in several countries abroad.

The prominent organizations that have appreciated and recognised the singer’s talent and abilities include the Chennai based Krishna Ghana Sabha, Bramha Gana Sabha, Bharathiya Vidhya Bhavan, Mylapore Fine Arts, Hamsadwani, Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, Karthik Fine Arts and Sriranjani Sabha. He has also performed in Paris (France) during the Tyagaraja Festival held there in October 2006. He is a recipient of ‘The National Talent Scholarship from Human Resources Development Ministry, Government of India. The renowned spiritual centre of South India, the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetamhas conferred on him the title “Kanchi Kama Koti Asthana Vidwan” in the year 2008.

The recognition and the accolades that have come Ajay Namboodiri’s way have been the preceded by long and dedicated training under various masters of Carnatic Music. He began learning music at the age of twelve under the able tutelage of   Sri. Kalmadi Sadashiva Acharya of Kasaragod in Kerala. He continued his studies under Sri. Palai C.K. Ramachandran and Sri. Reganatha Sharma in later years and his advanced training was under the great teacher Sangeetha Mahopadhyaya Prof. T. R. Subrahmanyam.

At present he is a disciple of Sri. Neyveli Santhana Gopalan, one of the leading lights of contemporary Carnatic music. His training under Sri Neyveli Santhana Gopalan in the past few years has virtually been a kind of ‘Guru Kula Vasa’ and has aided him to imbibe the distinctive ‘Neyveli Bani’ in all its classical and aesthetic dimensions.

Presently, Ajay Namboodiri is running an institution named VISWA KALA PEETAM (A unit of Centre for Carnatic Music). The centre mainly aims at encouraging youngsters devoted music to improve their skills and knowledge and strive towards overall excellence in their chosen field.

Along with the pursuit of music as a vocalist Ajay Namboodiri also pursued the classical art academically. He obtained his Bachelors Degree in music from the University of Calicut and obtained Post Graduation, along with an M. Phil dissertation in music, from Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Delhi.

In between his professional and academic pursuits, Ajay Namboodiri also put his knowledge to good use by taking up various professional assignments.  These included stints in the medium of television as a creative producer as also conceiver and presenter of programmes. The Television Channels he has associated in these capacities include renowned national and regional channels in India such as Zee TV, Asianet, Bharathi T.V. and Jaya TV.

All through this period, Ajay Namboodiri was committed to imparting the rudiments and nuances of music to the coming generation. As part of this he consistently taught youngsters interested in music. He began this stream as a music teacher at Shruthilaya School of Music in his native place Payyannur, Kerala and later continued it in Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai.

With the advent of new forms of technology that facilitate long distance training, his students have an international flavour. They hail from all corners of the world and from countries such as Australia, Canada, U.S.A and U.K and use online e learning as the system to be under his tutelage.

Many observers, musicians and music lovers alike, who have cared to go through Ajay Namboodiri’s life and professional record, have affirmed that this is a life dedicated to the pure, traditional, gimmick-free, soulful expositions of Carnatic music.

Born to the late Advocate Sri P.V.K. Namboodiri and Srimathi Devasena Antharjanam at the Pulleri Vadhyaan Illam, a renowned traditional Namboodiri abode known for its social and cultural interventions in society right from the early days of the national liberation movement and located in Payyanur of Kannur District in North Kerala, Ajay Namboodiri is married to Girija P, herself a teacher (PSBB, K. K. Nagar, Chennai) and a keen follower of music.