/* START Google Analytics Code*/ /* END of Google Analytics Code */ A home called "Parvathi": Remembering 'Gana Saraswathi' Dr.M.L. Vasanthakumari in “Parvathi”

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Remembering 'Gana Saraswathi' Dr.M.L. Vasanthakumari in “Parvathi”

Dr. M.L. Vasanthakumari acknowledging felicitations
as Vidwan Doreswamy Iyengar shows appreciation and Mr. K. Shrikantiah muses!

We will get to 'Gana Saraswathi' Dr. MLV’s concert, all in good time.

Before that, we have a certain remembrance and a certain thanks to render on this Saraswathi Puja Day 2010.

We believe, that the common usage of the word 'ambiance' probably occurred somewhere in the early 70's when technology started to assume a greater impact. As sound quality through instruments became enhanced, as every human indulgence began to be hailed as a sign of creativity, as architects and interior decorators began to render furniture and plants with plastic, as shimmering effects of cascading waterfalls in hotel foyers became a vogue and as nightlife extended and discos came alive through the extravaganza of electric bulbs, the word ‘ambiance’ became synonymous with human activities only with the ego.

There was no quarter given to express any supplication to a higher power.

The Eagles swoop down on "Parvathi"
Actress Hema Malini and Indian Cabinet Minister S.M. Krishna
with Mysore's Who's Who in 1972

To the denizens of Mysore city, however, and particularly to members in 'Parvathi', 'ambiance' meant a whole lot more. A desire to be neat and orderly with cleanliness being hailed next to godliness seemed to come naturally, and along with that came respect of Nature in the holistic order followed by respect to Gods main propitiates, the musicians, the poets, the priests and the 'Harikatha' story tellers.

It was not uncommon to see the long lengths of "Parvathi's" concrete driveways being washed thoroughly, the ‘Rangoli’ being laid out in big and colorful welcomes , every natural plant laid out in pots befitting its size and displayed neatly alongside driveways and curbs, every tree (fruit bearing, flower bearing or otherwise) having its correct share of manure or natural vitamins with of course an appropriate share of water; orchard pomegranates and other varied fruit protected with a cloth cover till they ripened with just an adequate amount left open for nature’s hungry squirrels to feed upon, including ( as long as the matriarch was alive) enough milk every morning in front of the 'Dattatreya' tree for the local serpent to turn away from its carnivorous ways into one of becoming a vegetarian protector.

Behind every act, however, lay the strict watchfulness of Parvathi’s chief members; first, that of the grand-sire Shri K. Puttu Rao till 1959 and then for a long time when the baton went into the hands of the son K. Srikantiah. Even, if one shifted their attention to the other brother K.K. Murthy’s residence in Malleswaram, Bangalore, one would not be remiss in noticing the same penchant for the very same things.

In fact the gardens would impress Sri. Lalgudi Jayaraman so much that when he stayed overnight on his visits to Parvathi for concerts, he would get up early in the morning and walk bare-foot on the front lawn for 30-40 minutes, looking at the lawn and believing that it was good for both his eye sight and the stabilization of his body-heat.

As you go over these few slides of Parvathi , as you witness the stone slabs where N. Ramani may have been lost in his own reverie under the Champaka tree, or as Semmangudi might have shared the finer points of his music with Mr. K. Srikantiah , or as you go over the slide of the corner room with its grilled windows from where Shri. K. Puttu Rao (during his later years) would bellow to one and all of how “all respect for elders had died” (he had witnessed Mysore Vasudevachar struggling with the silvered iron front gates and nobody had come to the help of such a revered soul!), we want you to turn your attention to the final picture (slide and below), the one with the two faces.

These faces belong to the brothers Sri Madiah and Sri Basaviah, who came to Parvathi when very young and stayed on for a long time to render those beautiful creations with cues from Sri. Srikantiah. Needless to say, theirs was a labor of love as the gardens started to be singled out for trophies and praise from the horticultural society. In some ways, the vibrations and all around goodwill from “Parvathi” too, helped. In later years, the brothers came to be fixed on decent appointments at Mysore's famed National Institute of Engineering (famed alma mater of Sri. Narayana Murthy of Infosys and India’s spinning wizard EAS Prasanna), As is the dream of every parent for their children to always do better than them, Sri Madiah's elder son got admitted in the same engineering institution and from where he passed out with distinction. He continued on to his post-graduation and currently serves in an enviable position in a multinational company.

Our continued best wishes to all of them, wherever they might be today.

M.L.Vasanthakumari ---- VocalPrabhavati ----- Co singer
Subrahmanyam ----Violin
Tanjavur Krishnamurthy Rao --- Mridangam

On September 17,1964 during the Gowri-Ganesh Festival in "Parvathi"

[1. Ragasudharasa-(Andolika); 2. Ragam Tanam Pallavi in Karaharapriya 3. Sloka and 'Jogi mat jaa'(Sindubhairavi) 4. Sundara Mooruti-( Janjooti) 5. Krishna nee begane baaro-(Yaman Kalyani) 6.Paarkadal alai mele-(Ragamalika) 7. Jnanavu Krutayugadalli-(Ragamalika) 8. Pavamana ]