LOTUS program in February 2010



897 Kifer Road, Suite 1, (inside RTS Building Complex)

Sunnyvale, CA 94086

Phone: (408) 481-9242

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These are free events. All are welcome. Please feel free to spread this message to your friends and relatives.


JUNIOR CONCERT 1 - 11.00 AM TO 11.45 AM

Sahana Rajan - Vocal

Nagaraj Mandya - Violin

Balaji Mahadevan - Mrudangam

JUNIOR CONCERT 2 - 12.00 PM TO 12.45 PM

Mekala Neelakantan - Vocal

Nagaraj Mandya - Violin

Balaji Mahadevan - Mrudangam


Ruchika Podury - Veena

Balaji Mahadevan - Mrudangam


Mekala Neelakantan

Fourteen year old Mekala Neelakantan, born and raised in the Bay Area, was introduced to Carnatic music in 2005 by Smt Latha Sriram Artisitic Director of Sri Lalitha Gana Vidyalaya. With her talent, hard work, dedication, and the blessings of her guru, Mekala advanced rapidly and within a short span distinguished herself as a good student of the school by performing in several Bay Area events. Her performances include Sri Lalitha Gana Vidyalaya’s productions “Arupadai Veedu” (Cuberley Theatre, 2005), “Guruvandanam” (Ohlone College, 2007), and “Trinity Day” (Cubberley Theatre, 2007). She also performed at the recent 25th anniversary celebration and fundraiser event for Badarikashrama (CET, 2009). In addition, she has performed in numerous house concerts and festival occasions at the Shiva Murugan Temple in Concord, Sharadha Devi day in Badarikashrama, and Vijaya Dasami celebrations at Sanathana Dharma Kendra.

Mekala is a sophomore at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont. She is also an avid sportsperson and is a very talented table tennis player. As a USATT rated player, Mekala has won several local and regional table tennis tournaments. She is also a multi-year winner of local, district, and regional National Elks Basketball Hoop Shoot contests. As a staff reporter for The Smoke Signal, her school newspaper Mekala routinely covers local sporting events.

Sahana Rajan

Sahana began learning Carnatic Music at the age of 5. What started out as a simple hobby has evolved into a deep passion for singing and the arts. She has been under the tutelage of Smt. Latha Sriram since 2006. She has performed several times in Sri Lalitha Gana Vidyalaya's productions such as Guru Vandhanam in 2007, Trinity Day in 2007, in 2008, and in 2009. She has also given a solo concert in September 2007 and in May 2008 with accompaniment.

Ruchika Podury

Ruchika is a 15 years old junior student at The Harker School in San Jose. She started her veena training in Hyderabad, India at the age of 7. During her stay in India, Ruchika performed at various cultural festivals, and at temples and schools in Hyderabad and Gurgaon, winning the Second prize in an inter-school music competition. She gave a demo of the veena in the presence of Padma Bhushan Ustad Asad Ali Khan, an exponent of the Rudra Veena, at a SPICMACAY Musical nite organized at her school. Ruchika also took training in Hindustani Classical vocal music for two years, and was awarded a Certificate from Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh. After her return to the Bay area in 2006, Ruchika continued her veena classes under the guidance of Guru Smt. Vasanti in Cupertino. Since April of 2009, she is being trained by Guru Smt. Subhashini Gunapu of Pampa music school in Sunnyvale.

Ruchika has performed for Dassera celebrations at Sanathana Dharma Kendra in Sunnyvale, Sri Thyagaraja and Purandaradasa Aradhana at the Hindu Temple in Fremont, and for Vijayadasami celebrations at Pampa music school. Recently, she participated in the Naatya Raaga Music competition organized by OSAAT.

Apart from music, Ruchika is interested in learning new languages. She is fluent in Telugu and Hindi, and is learning Spanish at school. Sanskrit and Japanese are her other favorite languages that she pursues on her own. Ruchika also has a keen interest in art. She won the Outstanding Artist award for her art in her school magazine, and many of her art works are regularly displayed in her school.

Nagaraj Mandya

Nagaraj started his music education more than 15 years ago at the Vijaya College of Music, Bangalore, India. He continued his advanced music education under Sangeetha Kalarathna Prof.H.V.Krishnamurthy, Principal of the Vijaya College of Music and his son, Ganakalashree Sri.H.K.Venkatram. Nagaraj is currently furthering his musical interests with the bay area’s leading musician Smt.Asha Ramesh. Nagaraj has accompanied many renowned and accomplished artistes both in India and in the USA and has played at many prestigious sabhas.

Alongwith his guru, Sri.H.K.Venkatram, Nagaraj has developed multi-media presentations on the “Life and Times of Sri Muthuswami Dikshithar”, “Panchabhutha krithis of Sri Muthuswami Dikshithar” and “Navagraha krithis of Sri Muthuswami Dikshithar”. He has also developed a multi-media CD on Saint Thyagaraja’s Pancharathna krithis. Recently, he also co-authored a multi-media presentation on Sangeetha Kalanidhi Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer on the occasion of Semmangudi’s birth centenary celebrations.

Balaji Mahadevan

Balaji Mahadevan had his initial training from Shri K.S.S.Mani (Chennai) for 8 years. He continued to learn from Shri Madhu Sudhanan, Chennai (disciple of Shri Karikudi Mani). Balaji has accompanied many leading artists in chennai and in US and has also played for many cassette / CD recordings and TV shows and he has been accompanying for various dance arangetrams and dance ballets. Balaji Mahadevan is a graded artist from All India radio, Chennai. He is also skilled in playing Tabla, Dhol, Thavil, Khol.