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The female thavil player breaking the mould

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Playing the instrument stays a male bastion, however few have been capable of break this custom

Although girls have made their mark in varied fields, enjoying the thavil in Carnatic music stays a male bastion. There are many ladies who play the nagaswaram. But only some have been capable of break the mould and pursue a profession as a thavil player. M. Sarojini of Vriddhachalam is amongst them.

Devotees at Viruthagireeswarar temple know her nicely as she is a musician of the temple.

“My family had reservations when I showed interest in learning the instrument. They felt the thavil was a tough instrument and not suitable for a woman. But I decided to go ahead,” mentioned Ms. Sarojini. She learnt the instrument when she was learning in Class 5.

Learning the instrument was straightforward for her as she belonged to a household of nagaswaram and thavil gamers.

All in the household

Her father Chinna Pillai, a nagaswaram player, and her brother Gurumurthy, a thavil player, are hooked up to Viruthagireeswarar temple in Vriddhachalam. The household has roots in Thanjavur, however migrated to Vriddhachalam 30 years in the past.

“As a temple musician, I play four times a day in the temple when the pujas are conducted. I accompany my father. I also perform outside at concerts but mostly with my family members, who are musicians,” mentioned Ms. Sarojini, who needed to take a break from enjoying the thavil when her son was born.

But she quickly resumed enjoying and have become part of Nada Sangamam, a troupe that contains an amalgamation of assorted instrument gamers.

They play classical and movie songs at completely different features and weddings. “Our troupe has performed in various places, including in Chennai. I am keen on improving my career as a performing artiste,” added Ms. Sarojini.

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