ushaThe highly appreciated Indian musical instrument Gottuvadyam, when aligned with the correct sruti, is music to ears. So too is the words of Kerala’s first artist in Gottuvadyam D Usha Vijakumar, whose only advise as a mother is not to thrash your tensions or pressures on your little souls just because the child is something of your own. The beauty of motherhood gets lost when you thrash your tensions on your child, she says.

The challenges faced by the modern day mom is as challenging as the Gottuvadyam. Just like the child’s voice is hardly heard upon, so too is the Gottuvadyam less commonly heard on the concert platform.

To be one of the few artistes who have taken up the rather difficult instrument at a very young age of 13, Usha had been a beautiful mother when most women in those days opt to remain as a housewife.

Usha Vijakumar is 62 now and is as sweet as her voice. He melodious rendition of kirtanas has been imbibed to her two children till their school days. But as time passed by, they have abandoned it due to their hectic lives.

Usha is not media shy. And she is proud to be Kerala’s first Gottuvadyam expert and has tried all means to revive the concert scene by taking on the challenging task. Not many would have claimed to have heard it live but the plucked instrument of Carnatic music has a reigning Queen who practices life’s lessons too meticulously just as she finds time to play her beloved instrument almost daily.


Usha says when you are a mother, you have something of your own and knowing that you have a voice of influence over a child, the present day moms try to load their tensions and worries over their child. The regular parenting issues are nothing new and try to remember that a child is only a child.

The working mothers rapid-paced and hectic life is presenting itself with unique pressures but Usha says one has to find the right rthymn.

Learning music under the veteran Gottuvadyam artists Late Mannargudy Savithri Amma, she accompanied her Guru in all her Gottuvadyam recitals. Her shoulder of support was her husband. Working for 33 years at AIR, Kozhikode, Usha has managed to juggle both her family and work in equal pace. Her chaste quality of music has made her select a few students whom she teaches the Gottuvadyam. Though she has never chased laurels, her inherent talent has been recognised and has won awards and recognitions. Her piece of advice on Mother’s Day. A mother can do wonders. So be honored that you are one.