Song of Surrender

Monday, 4 September 2017

Needamangalam Meenakshisundaram Pillai

3.9.1894
Birthdays & Anniversaries

Meenakshi,born on 3 September 1894,was the only child of  Deivayanai Ammal and Subramaniam,alias Kutti Ayya, of Chavadi Agraharam, Ayyampetai. His mother died when he was only 27 days old. He was brought up by Kamalammal, his mother's younger sister,with great care and affection.
When Meenakshi was four, his uncle Singaram Pillai began giving himles­sons in the 'family art' of tavil-play. A swift learner, he was able to play immediately what ever he was taught. His quick grasp and his retentive memory, as also his 'piercing eyes', so impressed Govinda Pillai that he took the youngster under his own wings for further training.

By the time he was nine,Meenakshi began providing tavil accompaniment to the local nagaswara player.When­ever he was free,he would also go to the temple and play there during the rituals. Probably he was then hardly big enough to carry the tavil, let alone play it standing up.


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