Song of Surrender

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Padma Varadan

Birthdays & Anniversaries


In earliest vision of musical perfection was the image of Padma Varadan’s (Pappa Akka as I used to call her when I was a child) slender fingers gliding effortlessly over the black and bronze fretting of the veena to produce seamless musical phrases of exquisite brilliance. That vision has been an enduring one, responsible for making me an Ekalavya of her musicianship and accepting her as my ‘manaseeka guru’, much to the amusement/ irritation/disapproval of my real gurus. While my mother and my foremost guru, Karpagavalli Gopalakrishnan, accepted my preference with good grace, my mother’s guru and Padma Akka’s father, the late Ranga Ramanuja Ayyangar, who tutored me on and off over the years, was not amused when I often questioned his authority in favour of his daughter’s. For me, Padma Varadan was the ultimate arbiter, at least in my impressionable childhood and teen years.

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