Having notched up two honours already, it is not an unthinkable proposition to go for the hattrick. And that is precisely what 40-year-old ventriloquist-singer Kudupudi Sreedhar is aspiring to do. Quite significantly, the two Limca Book of Records that he has already achieved have come in different categories. Although inter-related, the third that beckons him is in a different league altogether.
Kudupudi Sreedhar is one-of-a-kind, at least sort of. Having migrated to Hyderabad nearly two decades back, he has been into the only thing that he knows-singing away to glory.
His recent performance in the city, for a third Limca record, is according to him, the first such attempt in the category, and the most grueling one, yet. Although a professional singer for 26 years now, he had the audience glued to their seats when he rendered 12 Telugu numbers with his mouth sealed!
The record effort was unique in more ways than one. There is a touch of irony to No 12. He sang 12 songs with my lips sealed for 12 minutes and 12 seconds because he wanted the timing to commemorate the 12th month of the year on the dash of numerology.
His earlier two records were for mimicry and dual-tone singing. The latter is his specialty. He can modulate his voice in so many diverse tones that he is adept at imitating female voice with rare dexterity. This has helped him fine-tune his modulations and vocal chords to such levels that he renders duets as naturally as a male and female singer would do together.
Sreedhar's talent is not merely in ventriloquism or singing. He imitates female voice to admirable perfection. To underscore his mastery, his latest rendition featured a remarkable demonstration of his `feminine' tone with his lips sealed but the musical notes in tact. It had the appreciable crowd baffled, literally.
He has been practicing lip-sealed singing for almost two years. To perfect the art, he spent hours together on yoga and meditation. He is delighted that his maiden performance has elevated his status.
All thanks to Grandpa
Although not a trained singer, he was introduced to the amazing world of live entertainment by his grandfather, who was a practicing musician in East Godavari district. The early grooming had a telling effect on the young lad with starry eyes. Blessed with a multitude of talent, he decided to chalk out a career as a stage singer.
For all his achievements, Sreedhar has displayed the humane side to him. In order to spread the art, despite being occupied with 15-20 shows in a month, including abroad, he established Swaradhara Kalakshetram. Around 25-30 male and female students are being introduced to vocal music. He has been singing Telugu songs exclusively for the past two-and-a-half decades. By choice, he doesn't go for the jazzy rock or pop songs. He concentrates on lyrics, which propagate social messages and eulogise our rich cultural identity. Likewise, he started the school in which the classes are provided free of cost.
Apparently, this is the `Duet' Samrat's way of giving something back to the society, in a bountiful, at that.