Friday, June 04, 2004

Who reads what? Sanjay Subramanyan

A Chartered Accountant by profession, Sanjay Subramanyan is better known for his on-stage persona. He started out learning to play the violin under the tutelage of Shri V. Lakshminarayana. When the switch to vocal music happened, he learnt initially under Shrimathi Rukmini Rajagopalan and later, under Vidwan Shri Calcutta K.S.Krishnamurti. A renowned and much sought-after vocalist today, he is appreciated for his passionate rendering of many a Krithi and a Raaga.

His passion extends beyond singing, to other areas of Carnatic Music as well. He has organised heritage walks around places of musical interest in Chennai in December. Music-related trivia are at his fingertips and a wealth of information, on a website he has, called

In the midst of a hectic schedule, he does manage to do a fair amount of reading. Sanjay recounted, “Last year, I was reading Tamil fiction. Although I read P.G. Wodehouse every opportunity I get, and I’m up to date on the Harry Potter books, I am currently reading an e-book called Don't Know Much About History by Kenneth C.Davis.”

As an avid reader, he regularly looks to download e-books off the Internet. Coming back to the e-book at hand, “I was reading various reviews on a website, and came across one on this book. The review mentioned that it was interestingly written unlike other books of its genre which end up sounding like textbooks. So, I downloaded it and started reading it” says Sanjay.

The book narrates the history and development of America in a witty, coversational style. It dispels some myths while clarifying some facts. Right from Christopher Columbus to Clinton, the Rosenberg spy case to September 11, from gun control to the death penalty, the book relates America's historical, social and political issues. It deals with questions as diverse as “Who really discovered America?”, “Did the Indians really sell Manhattan for $24?” and “Did Pocahontas really save John Smith's life?”

Sanjay added “The format of the book, in a Question and Answer style, makes even the more complex topics in American History, easier to understand. It is a very elaborate subject and has been well written.It truly is a fascinating study of American history and brings to life the events and the people who were responsible for its development.”

Pic courtesy Seven Shots
An edited version of this article was published in Madras Plus in 2004.

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