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The voice falls silent

Carnatic vocalist Vanaja Narayanan passed away recently.

Vanaja Narayanan's passing away on May 19 at an old age home in Chennai was reported by Mayuram J.Shankar, the renowned mridangam player. This artist of Bharatnatyam and Carnatic (vocal) music was the niece of Sirkazhi Jayaraman (disciple of Sathoor A.G.Subramanyam).

The famed Madras Sisters, Kamala, Rhadha and Vasanthi, are her paternal cousins.

Vanaja was one of the prime disciples of K.N. Dhandayuthapani Pillai and had assisted him in the arangetram of several of his disciples. She had also trained a few disciples including Neeraja Srinivasan, who lives in the U.S. now. Vanaja had her tutelage in Carnatic music under the late M.L. Vasanthakumari.

T.M. Prabhavathi, a senior disciple of MLV, in a private conversation with C. S. Srinivasan, secretary, Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha (Vani Mahal), recalled innumerable occasions when she and Vanaja provided vocal support to the dance recitals of the late Srividya (MLV's daughter).

Tragedy struck the Narayanans early in life, when their teenaged son died. They moved to a senior citizens' facility because of old age.

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