Profile - Ramarao V Nai
Ramarao is a much revered figure and perhaps the oldest living exponent of Hindustani music representing the Agra gharana. The suffix Naik in his name has significance in Hindustani music, at least it had in the old durbari times. Musicians were graded like Kalavant, Guni, Ramarao Naik and Gandharv, according to the quality of their music and Naik topped them. But, in the case of Ramarao, this appendage to his name has no relation to music. It is inherited and represents the fields in which his forebears were active- military and jewellery. His father Venkaji Naik held the rank of a naik in the military, whereas his grandfather Srinivasa Naik was a jeweller. Hailing as he does from such a family, it is an interesting saga how Ramarao switched over to music and attained pre-eminence in it.