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Mohana Krishna


Mohana Krishna is an accomplished carnatic classical vocalist. A disciple of Shri Bal Murli Krishna, Mohana Krishna has been showcasing his talent on stage for the past 20 years.

Mohana Krishna is a regular face in concerts. Despite losing his eye sight at his prime age, he didn't lose hope. Instead took his blindness as a positive influence on his music. Let’s talk to Mohana Krishna and find out more about this gifted musician.

Tell us about your childhood. How you lost your sight?

I am not a blind man by birth. I was able to see the world till my B.Com Final year (till I was almost 19 years old). I was able to enjoy my vision. I was able to move as a normal man. Apart from music, reading was also one of my hobbies.

Suddenly, I was infected with conjunctivitis. Within a week, I gradually started lost my eye sight. Earlier I used to suffer from long sightedness. I used to wear spectacles as a solution. After conjunctivitis, my vision power worsened day by day. I now had to keep books very close while reading. Finally within that week I lost my vision completely. Later, I came to know that I was suffering from Retinitis Pigmentosa.

What were the changes you observed after you turned blind?

Being blind from childhood is different from losing sight during the prime age of life. I lost my sight when I had just started working towards my goals, when I had several responsibilities to fulfill. Losing sight at such an important junction of life was very painful. I went into deep depression, thinking that I can’t lead my life anymore and I had failed in achieving my goals. Then, I then started looking for ways to come out from this depression. Fortunately, "MUSIC" came to my rescue.

I started concentrating on music; my blindness in fact helped me in paying undivided attention. Since then I never looked at blindness as a drawback. My music helped me in winning my goals.

Is your memory of days before you became blind of any use today?

As I lost my sight after I turned 20. Therefore, I did have a large amount of visual memory which helped me in understanding objects and my way.

You meet so many people each day. How do you keep a track of people you have met? How do you recognize them?

I would call it a blessing in disguise. If I listen to anybody’s voice once, I can memorize the voice. In my next visit to the same person, I can recognize him with his voice.

What/who inspired you to take up music?

Versatile genius and international vocalist, Vaggeyakara. And the incomparable blessing in my life, my guru, Dr. Bala Murali Krishna, inspired me a lot.

Tell us about your first performance. And how was it received?

I gave my first stage performance at the age of 12 years. It was conducted by "Sri Tyagaraja Vidya Peetham", Machilipatnam, which was established and run by my first guru Sri Sistu Prabhakara Krishna Murthy Sastry. I never had stage fear. I didn’t feel tension while giving any performance, even at that age. The audience showered their appreciations very generously.

Can you share some interesting/memorable incidents?

I have more memorable as well great achievements in my life.

  • 1977, when I met my Guru Sri Mangalampalli Bala Murali Krishna garu. It’s a great event in my life. I met him in his house at Chennai.
  • 1978, First time I enjoyed live concert by Guru Sri Mangalampalli Bala Murali Krishna garu in Bandar, AP.
  • 1980, June 17th, my first music class by Guru Sri Mangalampalli Bala Murali Krishna garu.
  • 1980, when I get first prize in all India level classical music competition conducted by All India Radio.
  • 1983, my first concert with Guru Sri Mangalampalli Bala Murali Krishna garu in Machilipatnam, AP.
  • 1996, In Puttaparti my experience with Bhagavan Sri Satya Sai is an unforgettable incident in my life. I was invited for a stage performance in Puttaparti, in front of Bhavan. Overwhelmed with my performance, Bhagavan rush towards me, and hugged me saying “Dear child, you sang very well, I will meet you again.”
  • 2004, December, I received Parupalli Ramakrishnayya Pantulu award by Madras Vipanchi Mission. I received this award from the hands of Guru Sri Mangalam Palli Bala Murali Krishna garu.
  • And many more…………
Can you throw more light on music as a career for you and other blind people?

An ordinary life generally revolves around studying well, getting a good job, settling in life. But life in fine arts is not simple. It’s really a great life. One needs more concentration and true dedication to lead a successful career. Many people get inspiration by our performances. It is a challenging life.

I never felt blindness as a defect, because as I mentioned above, life as a musician requires more. I need to concentrate more. Being a blind person, no visual effect can disturb my concentration while I am doing something related to Music. That may be a stage performance, teaching, composing music, etc.

I am giving details of some blind people who succeeded and become more popular in music field:

  1. Dwaram Venkata Swaminaidu (Famous Violinist)
  2. MS Balasubrahmanya Sharma, (Popular Vocalist)
  3. M Chandra Sekharan, (Famous Violinist)
  4. And many more people
What adaptations did you make in your work environment?

A musician's life fully depends on his talent. The best talent gives the best life. These days, people have a variety of preferences. As a classical singer, I should be in a position to satisfy all kinds of people with my music.

Our ancestors laid out some rules and practices for Carnatic Music. It's traditional! Our seniors added some more flavors to it, and enriched the beauty. We as their followers may or may not improve these values, but we should not spoil the traditions.

This is the point where I must be more cautious. My goal is; everybody should know the beauty of Carnatic Music. From a kid to an old aged person should enjoy the beauty of it. At the same time, it should not tamper the traditional values. As a solution, I will give my stage performances according to the kind of audience.

For example, I maintain difference between programs giving in a college, and programs giving in a holy place without losing traditional values. This is to receive appreciations from all kinds of people.

My attitude in singing; Singing should be innovative to the singer as well knowledge gaining to audience.

I always try to perform at the best level without loosing traditional values and serve derived voice culture.

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