"Sangeetha Kalanidhi" Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer

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"Halfway through our learning vocal music from Mayavaram Krishna Iyer, Maharajapuram Viswanathatha  also started teaching us. He continued to teach us from 1948 to 1954 till I got married. He would come over most evenings to our home in Adyar, Madras, and we would sing for about one and half hours. He would then chat with my father before going home. My sister Pappu and I learnt several beautiful Kritis from him. It was amazing how many songs of Thyagaraja he knew - well ,being a most devoted bhakta of Thyagaraja, it is not surprising. We had once gone along with him ( with Dad and Mum) to the Thyagaraja utsavam in Thiruvaiyaru. Padmini and I sang 4 or 5 kirtanas on one of the evening programs, apart from taking part in the joint aradhana singing. Maharajapuram had a fondness for Hindusthani Classical music too, as one felt from his 'Mohanam raga' which often had a minute flavor of 'Bhoop', the north Indian equivalent. Mahararajapuram had the knack of singing ragas that are not usually sung as main ragas in a kutcheri and develop them to become the main raga for the program with such beauty and classism, like Kamas, Attana and Arabhi".

"He was a very simple person by nature, like a child at times; yet so brilliant in his music. He just adored our whole family, for which we were blessed, I guess ! Very often, when Padmini and I sang at the Sabhas in Madras, he would be there in the audience. That was really encouraging. He was a father figure for us in music."

"It was very rare that we went to his home, and never met his son, Santhanam in those days, though he used to sing with his father during his performances.It was later, after his death, that Maharajapuram Santhanam got to know our family better. My sister Padmini learnt from him also. "

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