VEENA NADA YOGI, SMT. KALPAGAM SWAMINATHAN
I took my father's handkerchief which was big enough to tie all the flowers. I wanted to pick up all the 'parijatham' flowers that were lying scattered on the ground under the big 'parijatham' tree in Teacher's house. "Teacher", that's how I called my Parama Guru (mother/Guru's Guru), Smt. Kalpagam Swaminathan.
It was a weekend routine. The walk from my house in 2nd main road, R.A.Puram to Teacher's house in 7th cross road, R.A.Puram was completed in no time as I skipped and hopped my way to her house.
My friends Tooti, Lokki and Bommi waved at me from their houses calling out loudly to me to meet them after my class. The R.A.Puram of 60s was a very calm area and quite safe for children to walk alone.
I ran the remaining steps leading to Teacher's house heading directly for the 'parijatham' flowers. The gate opened noisily and as always I forgot to close it.
"Gayathri, have you come? Close the gate child!" Teacher's voice came from the side room where she conducts her Veena classes. Obviously the screechy sound of the gate alerted her. I planned to first collect all the flowers before going inside.
As though reading my mind Teacher called out, "You can pick the flowers later child, come inside quickly. I have other students lined up after you."
Sulking, I went inside.
"Samatthu ( good child)", smiling affectionately Teacher asked, "Now show me what you learned in your last class."
2 YEARS OF TRAINING UNDER THE GRAND GURU (1967, 68) FOR ENHANCED TECHNIQUE THROUGH A COLLECTION OF VARNAMS AND KRITHIS. I WAS BLESSED AND PRIVILEGED TO ACCOMPANY HER (AT AGE 7) IN HER PERFORMANCE IN STELLA MARIS COLLEGE, CHENNAI.