Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

Carnatic Musicians

Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#126  Postby Ramasubramanian M.K » 29 Feb 2012 07:29

Nadhasudha: Thank you for your comments. I never ever imagined that in a forum like this-- where several music topics are being discussed in the most illuminating manner--(I have learnt a lot--) there would be so much interest in artistes' lives--especially when these have been analysed threadbare leaving me to think what else is there to write about. Even my close family members commented to me often as to how come I had not shared these with them. As I had mentioned in one of my earliest posts since I came to know of this forum.I used to listen to Sangeethapriya recordings but never blogged or wrote any article to any Music Magazine despite my late father's repeated exhortations to write(as you may be aware he was a prolific writer and music reviewer --for the Indian Express)--the one exception was I wrote one essay on GNB in his book Musings on Music and Musicians released in 2003 on the occasion of his 90th birthday. One of the dilemmas in writing about these personalities is a fear of transgressing their privacy and how persons close to these celebrities would feel about details of their lives being "bared" open although it is confined to only my personal experiences with them.

I have still not got over that reticence and discretion but I will wade thro them slowly and cautiously so as not to embarass the concerned persons. However I have no desire--despite requests from several well-wisher forumites--to write a book for the general public- but in the case of the forum which I have come to regard as a large caring family I am hoping the chronicles would be received and treated with sensitivity and discretion. So far my wishes have been honored by the forumites more than I expected and more than I have a right to expect.

To the younger forumites who may have had similar interactions with the stalwarts of today, I would appeal to them to share their observations and experiences so that we have a good perspective of not only how music has evolved over the generations but also how the present day artistes' mores and relationships have morphed from the erstwhile artists' times.
Won't that be great for posterity?
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Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#127  Postby doyoucare » 01 Mar 2012 03:43

Ramasubramanian M.K wrote: One of the dilemmas in writing about these personalities is a fear of transgressing their privacy and how persons close to these celebrities would feel about details of their lives being "bared" open although it is confined to only my personal experiences with them.


Exactly my point in the other thread (Alathur). I am as much a fan of aruvai as the next person, but I guess my definition of what constitutes an aruvai joke is different ;)


Ramasubramanian M.K wrote:Won't that be great for posterity?


Not sure how vetti vambu helps posterity. But then maybe it is just me!
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Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#128  Postby cacm » 01 Mar 2012 09:27

Dear do you care,
YOUR STATEMANT:
Not sure how vetti vambu helps posterity. But then maybe it is just me!
REPEATS YOUR self appointed expert& guardian role of what is proper or improper to write in this forum esp. by others. YOUR own observations while "smart alecky" do not convey much of anything most of the time....The forum is a place where people can say anything they want to without "holier than thou" pronouncements. Be tolerant. VKV
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Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#129  Postby Ramasubramanian M.K » 01 Mar 2012 10:05

DOYOUCARE: LOKO BHINNA RUCHIHI--Tastes differ--it would help if you could illustrate what would be deemed purposeful and meaningful by you so that I may be clear as to what you consider as Vetti Vambu and avoid the same in future posts.

You have completely missed my point--I have been writing about artistes who flourished 50/60 years ago with whom I have had associations. I do not have much close interactions with the current crop of artistes. I was trying to 'coax" forumites -- who may have interacted closely with the contemporary artists to come out with their perspective and insights to avoid the 'laud-the-past-bemoan-the present" stigma that may be attached to "old geezers" like me(Nick how do you like this term for Seniors like me).
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Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#130  Postby Nick H » 01 Mar 2012 11:40

"old geezers" like me(Nick how do you like this term for Seniors like me).


Do you spend a lot of time geezing? :lol:
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Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#131  Postby kalyani_ragam » 02 Mar 2012 09:40

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Last edited by kalyani_ragam on 02 Mar 2012 10:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#132  Postby anandasangeetham » 02 Mar 2012 10:05

Getting an insight into the private lives of celebrities is nothing wrong and IS NOT VETTI VAMBU as long it does not create an unsavory view....(perceptions do differ)..but this throws much light on their greatness, why they perform the way they did...etc....Sri Bhimsen Joshi is known to hit the bottle quite often and it did impact his performances...though the habit is purely personal nothing wrong to write about it as long it does not cross the limit thereby creating an image of a drunkard....Sri MKR has been very very careful not let such opinion even assumptions about the yesteryear greats....Posterity does not necessarily mean to portray only the greatness of an individual but also the persons weaknesses (if any), idiosyncracies, etc....
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Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#133  Postby Ramasubramanian M.K » 02 Mar 2012 19:03

Thanks anandasangeetham-I could not have put it better-in fact part of my tardiness in continuing the SSI or MSS saga in these forums(apart from the usual lethargy and other preoccupation reasons)is my ambivalence as to how far I should go in narrating an anecdote to illustrate a trait or point when there is a danger in the anecdote getting the better part of attention than the point I am trying to make.

Not to belabor the comment that triggered all these side bars,whenever an anecdote I believe reveals a facet of the artist's personality--be it their thrift or their 'wiliness",I have to remind myself constantly to underscore the period or context of that anecdote to put it into perspective. I have noticed in one of my posts(which topic I do not remember) a tangential but specific reference to the remunerations of the artistes in the fifties,drew a comment from one rasika that it was too intrusive into the artistes' privacy. My intent was to highlight thro that anecdote how understanding the artistes were in those days in understanding the financial limitations of the Institutions and the general public and make the necessary accommodations . In our current economic flush times none of our present day artistes --no matter what tier they belong to-- face that predicament so that any talk of financial difficulties that the senior artistes may have faced is difficult for a younger forumite or rasika to relate to- WHAT I omitted to mention and deliberately so was the contrast with many of today's visiting artistes--mainly USA(I do not know what is the state of affairs in other countries) demanding remunerations under the presumption of milk-and-honey in the USA-- without regard to the sponsoring institutions' economic situation( Our Forumite VKV from his organisational experience in the Sixties and seventies and Sruthilaya currently can testify to my observation) . I do not intend to start a new controversy on this topic because it does not belong in this thread.
Nevertheless I can can quite understand the sensitivity of some forumites to what they believe should remain private.

Notwithstanding all these caveats and sidebar detours, I intend to continue my 'poking-and-probing" to bring out my own "takes" on these issues. If there is overwhelming revulsion or ambivalence on the part of forumites to these revelations, I will cease and desist!!!!
Keep those brickbats coming!!!!
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Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#134  Postby mahavishnu » 03 Mar 2012 02:44

MKR, I find your stories to be extremely endearing and on top of that your narration is quite charming. These vignettes present a wonderful side of these personalities that many rasikas are not privileged to have experienced. So let me join the others in requesting that you continue being the great raconteur that you are.
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Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#135  Postby Ramasubramanian M.K » 03 Mar 2012 05:26

Thanks mahavishnu.
let's get back to the main theme here--PMI!!
PMI is very well known for his reticence-long before Media became so ubiquitous and intrusive,by nature he was not into any kind of championing of a theory of mridangam or any lofty pronouncements of what has to be done to preserve/foster and improve CM. In one of his speeches he virtually downplays the art of playing mridangam by claiming that to "pass F.A.--the old Intermediate or B.A. is much more difficult--you have to study by-heart(his words) for a long time-night and day--whereas in Mridangam one needs to study only some basics,learn them well and practice assiduously". Before a concert be it in Chennai(where he used to stay with Babu Sir-CKV--Secy of Music Academy --identified in one of the group photos posted before) or in Bombay(where he would stay in the Shanmukhananda premises),if people drop in to see him--phones were not ubiquitous and his "Old" friends many from Palkkad would take the liberty of dropping in without notice. PMI would politely greet the person and the next couple of minutes will be nothing more than Hmms and OHs--an icy monologue with PMI an indifferent listener . If the caller has a particular personal issue on which he needs some guidance he would give it but very concisely and tersely. If not if it is about the state of CM ,what he(PMI) thinks of present day musicians etc etc PMI would make a noncommital remark--his famous words whenever he is faced with having to give an opinion -- when he did not want to --would be in Tamil" EDHU EDHU EPPADI EPPADI IRUKKANAMO APPADI APPADI IRUKKUM"(whatever is meant to be will be!!). By this time the visitor would get the hint and bolt.My father has told me that it has happened to him on some occasions(knowing my father--the journalist hound in him would have tried to provoke/elicit some comments from PMI on some heated topic of the day only to be deftly deflected and parried much to my father's amusement and chagrin!!).

LGJ once told of a famous Veena artiste(name withheld) who had visited Tanjore for a concert--hearing of PMI's presence there(PMI had his establishment in Tanjore for a couple of years) decided to drop in unannounced and unexpected . I believe beyond just greeting the man PMI did not speak a word and despite desperate attempts by the artiste to coax PMI into a conversation PMI maintained a sphinx-like silence and the artiste took leave naturally disappointed but did not blow it into any big controversy--only because everybody knew it was not personal.From PM's perspective he simply was not given to idle talk and like a master chess player would anticipate in advance what the other person would do with a chance remark by him and avoid it. On this he did not discriminate-it was not as if he would be gushing all over with ARI or Raghu or KVN just because he happens to like them. He appreciated this trait of studied reticence in persons close to him--an anecdote, as told to me by my father.

When Palghat Raghu returned from Edinburgh (where he had accompanied KVN) to Chennai it appears organisations like NGS or MFA( I do not remember which one) were planning to give him a reception but when they met him after his arrival from London to propose the reception,he demurrhed and left for Palakkad the same day. Apparently one of the Secretaries lamented to my father about Raghu's indifference. Some time later when PMI had come for a concert in Chennai,my father went to meet him and while chatting remarked about Raghu's turning down the invitation hoping that PMI would show surprise or hear the account fully. No sooner had my father broached the subject, PMI cut him off saying "AVAN SENJADHU DAN RIGHT"(What he did was the right thing). Why all the fuss about being honored abroad as if our music needs validation by foreigners--I would rather be appreciated by a knowledgeable Palakkd or chennai crowd-- Raghu I am sure feels like I do--end of conversation. Now this could be debated ad nauseum whether it is the right thing--he did not go on to a soapbox advocating his philosophies on Public relations or Publicity nor did he pooh-pooh Institutions choosing to honour Muscians for what they believe to be worthy of pride and recognition .

Whenever he did choose to respond to a wise-aleck remark he would do it with a sting that would singe you for ever--I have been the recipient of one such whiplash!!

More later-- the third bell for my Dinner has been announced --I better rush!!
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Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#136  Postby Ramasubramanian M.K » 04 Mar 2012 04:33

Continuing my verbal joust with the Master ending in a nose-cut.

August 1969--Bombay PMI had come for a concert staying in the Shanmukhananda Sabha- I was working for ESSO(Oil Co) as Sales rep in Bombay--I had decided to come to the US for further studies starting Sept 1969. I had gone to see him to let him know my plans and take leave of him(I must mention that his son Rajamony was 2 years junior to me in Engng College in Karaikudi and I was kind of mentor to TRR- and so his interest was in me more than the son of his friend).
He was alone in his room--after the greeting he raises his eyebrows as if to see what is the occasion for the visit--especially on a working day--I explain to him my plans--he pauses--no question WHY are you not happy with your job etc etc--he says I think it is a right move--I was shocked that he did not probe any further(typical pf PMI if you have made a decision you must know what you are doing and besides I do not have expertise in that area !!). he volunteers saying things are not good the country is not headed in the right direction(mind you this is 1969-what would he have said today had he been alive you can imagine !!). I asked him about Rajamony--at that time I think Rajamony had settled in a job either in Guindy(before he left for Alwaye--I do not remember). Seeing him alone I asked him whether he would like to go shopping or visit friends nearby(there were many in that area). Then he paused and said YES --he would like to see one of his friends who happens to live closeby but does not have his address. I recognized the person he was referring to which was on a street parallel to the Sabha Road and I vaguely remembered the building and felt I could locate it with a little effort. He gets into my car and I had to make a couple of rounds around the block(too embarrassed to ask people in the neighborhood before PMI when I had valiantly boasted to PMI!!). Finally I located the building and as we were getting out of the car I thought I would make a smart-alec remark I said in Tamil
'EVVALAVU SUTRINALUM EDATHUKKU VANDUTTOME"(No matter how many times we went round we have come to the place,) In Mridangam parlance after a round of Korvai you end up in the edam where you started the Korvai --there have been instances where the mridangist would miscalculate attempting a complex korvai--may have started off at the wrong finger and realise towards the end that he is going to miss it and cover it up by attempting again till he gets it right. I thought I had converted an embarrassing moment into a 'pun" in mridangam parlance.

The master quietly said with his usual teasing smile--"anal timethukkum varaname" meaning you should finish in time --implying going round and round to get the edam is no feat--get it right the first time!!

The Master never attempted impromptu on the stage be it a speech or a Tani and he preached the same to his disciples and aspiring vocalists who being thrilled that PMI would be playing for them would come up with some complex pallavi(not necessarily to test the Master but to show off that they are good in layam) and ask his opinion before going on stage--PMI would ask have you sung it before an audience after rigorous practice--if not-- his advice would be "VISHA PARIKSHAI VENDAM(actually told to Ramnad Krishnan in Bombay before a concert when RK approached him with the idea--PMI nixed it and went on to say I know you have learnt several pallavis of Mazhavarayandal Subbarama Bhagavathar why not choose one of them?

His thought process was always very clear and consistent and that is the reason why very few critics could trap him with inconsistency. Even in the Mike controversy his position was steadfast as forumites may be aware(the article/interview in the Hindu reproduced in this thread by one of the forumites would prove that).

Truly a great man of principle!! Despite the fact that he had prominent businessmen friends who were close to him and who do him any favors that he wanted, he never wanted to be beholden to anybody(I think in this thread there was a story told by Rajamony to one of the forumites about an invitation to lunch by a prominent person which PMI turned down because he was afraid there would be an obligation when the host would-- besides lunch-- shower him with gifts obligating him to visit the person again later!!)
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Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#137  Postby semmu86 » 04 Mar 2012 09:25

Ramasubramanian M.K wrote:(I think in this thread there was a story told by Rajamony to one of the forumites about an invitation to lunch by a prominent person which PMI turned down because he was afraid there would be an obligation when the host would-- besides lunch-- shower him with gifts obligating him to visit the person again later!!)


Rajamani Sir told this in the centenary function @ the MA too
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Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#138  Postby mohan » 01 Jun 2012 06:51

Palghat R. Ramprasad's relates some anecdotes about his grandfather: http://www.thehindu.com/arts/music/article3476411.ece
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Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#139  Postby sreebeecane » 01 Jun 2012 09:02

mohan wrote:Palghat R. Ramprasad's relates some anecdotes about his grandfather: http://www.thehindu.com/arts/music/article3476411.ece


Wizard with rhythm was indeed a wizard with logic as well. I loved the grandmother-bicycle episode. Brilliant! :D
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Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#140  Postby rajeshnat » 09 Jun 2013 10:32

Indeed a great debut
http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday ... 787632.ece

In general in the article , it is mentioned that PMI's father (i think his name is palghat subba iyer) is a supporting vocalist. May i know which artist he supported?

Mahavishnu,
Is your grandfather and Kalpathy Viswanatha Iyer mentioned in the article related ?
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Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#141  Postby mahavishnu » 09 Jun 2013 18:07

No, my grandfather was Kalpathi Ramanathan who was PMI's first student. You can see more about their early interactions here: http://www.palghatmaniiyer.org/1_27_V.S.-Mani.html
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Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#142  Postby sridhar_ranga » 16 Jul 2013 18:17

Posting this on behalf of a friend........Sridhar


A day with Palghat Mani Iyer

You are invited for an interesting day long event titled "A day with Palghat Mani Iyer" on the 11th Aug 2013 @ Ragasudha Hall from 9.00 a.m onwards...more details closer to the date.
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Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#143  Postby sridhar_ranga » 28 Jul 2013 13:13

SWARA RAGA LAYA presents “ A Day with Palghat Mani Iyer”


Date: 11th August 2013
Venue: Ragasudha Hall, Luz

Schedule:

9.00 a.m. to 9.30 a.m.: Lighting of the kuthuvilakku by Dr N Ramani and Vidwan P.S. Narayanaswamy, Welcome & Introduction, highlight of what can be expected in the day long event, pictorial representation of the legend Palghat Mani Iyer

9.45 a.m. to 10.45 a.m.: Ariyakudi & Mani Iyer--the 20th Century Partnership - by Sri Alepey Venkatesan, assisted by Sri R Ramesh on the Mridangam

11.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m.: A Vocalist/violinist perspective of Sri Palghat Mani Iyer - by Dr. Sriram Parasuram

There will be fillers with Video Recordings of Sri Palghat Mani Iyer

12.30 p.m. – 4.30 p.m.: Break

4.45 p.m. to 5.45 pm.: excerpts from speeches/concert recordings explaining the significant role of the percussion in the success of the concert - by Balaji Narasimhan

6.00 p.m. to 6.45 p.m.: recollections and anecdotes by musicians - Violin Maestro Sri T N Krishnan and Vidwan Sri T V Gopalakrishnan

7.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.: rendition of favourite kritis of Sri Mani Iyer with accompaniments and concluding with Anjaneya Utsavam and Mangalam -Palghat Ramprasad, Padma Shankar, Bombay C N Balaji


All are welcome.
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Re: Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer

#144  Postby rshankar » 28 Jul 2013 19:59

Best wishes for the program!
Sridhar, long time no see. Good to see a post from you.
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