/* START Google Analytics Code*/ /* END of Google Analytics Code */ A home called "Parvathi": "Homams"

Friday, August 7, 2009


We mentioned somewhere in our introductory theme that "Parvathi", besides its music, was also well known for its congregational worship and prayer. Somewhere in his speech, Chowdiah too mentions the fact that the matriarch Smt. Parvatamma would be found to be in supplication of the Lord almost twenty four hours of the time.

We show you a photo below of a 'Maha Bhagavata Homam' being performed at Parvathi in 1966. Performing the Homam are Harikatha Vidwan (Gamaki) Ramakrishna Shastriar (left) and the high priest of functions in "Parvati", Krishnaswamy Shastriar (right). Taking a momentary backseat to the rising flames before their performance, are Vidwans Umayalpuram Shivaraman, Lalgudi Jayaraman, Mysore M.A. Narasimhachar and Alangudi Ramachandran.

With Chowdiah's passing away, the entire Rama Navami music festivities came to be held in the former's honour and was shifted to the outside of the house to make room for the thronging crowds. The 'mantapam' and the portrait (shown below) were positioned below a 'Parijata' tree and the worship to both diety and tree (signifying ecological respect) was conducted publicly for decades to come.

The great Diva M.S. Subbalakshmi had performed earlier in Mysore when K. Puttu Rao was still alive. Here she is shown in 1967, many years after he passed away, settling down comfortably with "Parvathi" family members for the invocation 'Homam' prior to her performance.

Being that "Parvathi" was a vast and joint family (though not all of its members essentially lived there), the daughter-in-laws were always regarded with a certain filial pride by the man of the house ( Chowdiah also mentions this in the audio!). One remembers the house as having always retained the fresh smell of Jasmine emanating from perpetual garlands for gods, visitors and for women's constant hair adornings. The flowers would be brought in abundance each day from the copious flower houses of Devaraja Market or collected from its own gardens. Shown in the photograph (below) is Puttu Rao's second daughter-in-law Smt. Indiramma performing the necessary honors on so famous a visitor.

Finally, we show you a photo of the first couple offering their repects in front of the traditional fire(sometime before 1959! )

and a photo many decades later of Head Priest Krishnaswamy Shastriar and "Parvati"'s trustee couple offfering prayers to a single stone sculpture of Lord Sri Rama.