V. Balaji is a Student of class IX in Sir Sivaswami Kalalaya Senior Secondary School, Mylapore. He recently won the ‘Best Instrumentalist’ award in a competition conducted by S. S. International. Balaji has been learning mridangam from Guru “Kalaimamani” Thiruvaarur Bakthavathsalam for the past 8 years. He plays mridangam at the mani mantapam of Chandrashekharendra Saraswati every month on the Anusham day. He also represents his school for many cultural programmes and competitions at both intra and inter-school levels. Balaji learns violin from Guru Venkatraman and bharatanatyam from Lakshmi Kannan. His other interests include playing football.