My Guru Sri A.Sundaresan mama
My Guru Sri. A. Sundaresan mama has always been a father figure to all of his students. A task master who was unrelenting in his pursuit to perfection and who worked tirelessly to bring out many a rare gem of the Trinity and other composers.
He taught many students privately and at the Teacher’s college of Music, Music Academy for many years after a whirlwind concert- singing career. He was accompanied by stalwarts like Palghat Sri Mani Iyer , Umayalpuram Sri K.Sivaraman , Sri.V.V.Subramaniam, Sri.Lalgudi Jayaraman, Sri. M.S.Gopalakrishnan and others. He had many students in India and in Sacremento, USA.
Padmashri. Sangita Kalanidhi Sri.K.V.Narayanaswamy
It was in Padma Veeraraghavan mami ’s class that I was introduced to KVN mama’s music and thought that he was GOD. Padma mami would take me to KVN mama’s house for Sai Bhajans and we would get the rare privilege of hearing mama sing “ChitaChora Yashodake Bhal Navaneeta Choora Gopala”.Mama would use the chymbals himself and play different Nadais as he would go on and on with the neraval style of singing the line while most of us would be moved to tears.
His concerts were a pilgrimage…each of mama’s concerts are etched in my memory. From his arrival on stage to the way he set the Tambura sruthi, to the first note (Gandaram) that he sang and the entire concert till the mangalam and the way he shied away from compliments after the concerts are all important pages in the mind. From the Bhairavi Varnam to Somasayaka to Hecharika to Krishna neebegane or the inimitable VArugalamo in Maangi are some of the most precious things the world has seen.
MS amma came into my life like a devata just the same way she came into the hearts of millions..I had the rare honour of singing the Prayer song at the Sankara Netralaya programme where MS Amma was presented the Dinanath Puraskar award.Lata Mangeskar gave the award to MS amma.It was in the concert following that function that Sadasivam Mama, the rare person that he is, called out for me and made me sit next to him to hear the concert of MS amma..She had to be a Goddess..Oh how she sang..and with the rare honour of sitting next to mama for more than half the concert. A date to cherish…She has inspired millions with her devotion and unparalleled music…