May 10, 2002 

Inspiration for the day

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Edappazhanji Gangadharan Nair, Karithala veedu, Pangod, Thiruvananthapuram 695609


Here is someone who makes musical instruments using waste materials and plays them even in concerts.

For more than half a century now, 70-year-old Edappazhanji Gangadharan Nair, Karithala veedu, Pangod, Thiruvananthapuram has been involved in the fabrication of different instruments like veena and bulbul / banjo using waste material.

And for his contribution to the field of music, the Centre for Music and Dance honoured him last year with the title ‘Kalanidhi’.

He has built veena using materials like keyboard buttons of old typewriters, coconut shell and steel tumbler.  Unlike ordinary veenas, Gangadharan Nair’s veena does not have the ghatam-like base.  Instead, an amplifier is installed there.  Coconut shell and steel tumbler fixed with a single screw forms the ‘rest’ for the veena.

This modular veena can be dismantled and reassembled at will.  Thus it is easier to transport his veena.

While a Thanjavur veena costs Rs.7000, his ‘amplified’ veena costs only Rs.3000 to make.

His bulbul making is also unique.  He uses hollow wooden plank on which the strings are fixed.  This again is connected to the amplifier.  Gangadharan Nair performs at concerts with this ‘amplified’ banjo.

He has been playing harmonium, flute, mrudangam, thabala and ganjira in addition to veena and bulbul

Gangadharan Nair with the 'amplified' veena in the foreground


Courtesy: Mathrubhumi, December 18, 2001

Contributed by: Administrator


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