“I was 3 years old when my mother Smt. Rekha Sriram brought me into the world of sloka chanting. Hailing from a spiritual family, I grew up listening to tales of valour and integrity from my mother which eventually fed into my love for storytelling. I started giving upanyasams on a small scale at first and eventually, to bigger and wider audiences from Chennai to Michigan in the US.
Upanyasam, the art of storytelling sourced from the epics to the life of the saints, became the thing that took me around the world at the age of 19. I gave my performance under the guidance of Thaamal Sri. Ramakrishnan and eventually started to train with another guru namely Sri. Anand Dayanidhi Bhagawathar who made me understand the fine nuances of this art form.
But the journey here wasn’t easy! I was set apart from the crowd for being spiritual and there was no encouragement from my school for recognising this in me. I was mocked and ridiculed for sporting a Bindi to school. But I owe it to my mother for journeying along with me and helping me understand an important learning that I should never feel ashamed of portraying my true self no matter how trivial it seemed to the external world.
It so happened that during the lockdown, I conducted my first instagram live with an instagram influencer to convey a short story. Seeing the tremendous response, I decided to start small batches of sloka classes for interested folks. Since these classes are free, I decided to drive donation campaigns for ‘Goshalas’ and ‘Veda Patashalas’ which were never badly hit by the pandemic. I started to urge people to donate whatever they could and set up the logistics to make sure the money reached the intended people on time. On the first drive, we successfully raised around Rs. 40,000 and so far, we have raised around Rs. 2,00,000 from the time of inception and directed the funds to lesser known goshalas and pathshalas which often go unnoticed.
My goal is to use my art form to propagate the importance of the epics and vedas and make sure everyone imbibes the key values that were left for us. As a student of the chartered accountantcy course, I would love to be known as a chartered accountant by profession and an upanyasakar by passion!”