VISUALLY CHALLENGED SINGER'S QUEST FOR WORLD RECORD

It was only a few years ago that Vaikom Vijayalakshmi hit the jackpot when she bagged the best singer prize in a reality show. Along with it came offers to sing in Malayalam films.She went on to win a special mention of the jury in the 2013 Kerala State Film Awards in her debut film Celluloid for her Katte.. Katte nee poramo…  With her unique voice, she proved that talent cannot be put down by winning the Kerala State award for best female playback the following year for her Ottakku Paadunna Poonkuyile..  in the film Nadan.  Noted director Kamal, who has introduced several talented artistes in Malayalam films, was the director on both occasions. She has by now rendered for 30 films in various languages. The icing came when she got an offer to sing in Telegu director Rajmouli’s multi-lingual super hit Baahubali.

So what’s so special about her? Well, she is visually S. But that has not come in the way of her singing talents that has found her competing with better endowed singers as it were. She has become a main stay in the Malayalam ganamela circuit. She is also a well-known Gayatriveena (Single string instrument) artist. Her economic status also did not stop her from jumping into the competitive world of Indian classical and flim music.

She was betrothed recently, but called off her marriage following differences with her fiance over purusing her profession after marriage. According to Malayalam industry sources, Vijayalakshmi stood her ground and refused to accept the conditions imposed by her fiance, Santhosh, who too is a musician.The incident has not made her bitter. Instead, it has steeled her resolve to pursue her music and move forward.

Vaikom Vijayalakshmi  is now preparing to establish a world record in playing the veena.She will launch her single-string instrument odyssey on March 5 in Kochi at Hotel Sarovaram. Her attempt is to strum 51 songs on her Gayatriveena in the shortest possible time to set a world record. She will render classical songs from 10 am to 1 pm and from 1 pm to 3 pm she proposes to sing film songs of various languages. The visually challenged singer has already a large fan following in the state and is a favourite in the concert circuit.  

Gayatriveena, interestingly, was developed by Vaikom Vijayalakshmi. Says the singer, "it all began when my brother bought me a toy veena. I started pacticing with it. She played the crude instrument  the State Youth Festival in 1997 and won the first prize. Later, with the help of well-wishers, she developed the veena to a full fledged music instrument. In an interview to a television channel, she said she started training in classic carnatic music at a very young age. "I like staging carnatic music concert", she says. Her forte is trying out the difficult numbers at music concerts and ganamelas. 

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