Kanchadalayadakshi Kamala Manohari

Ambi Dikshithar - Grand Nephew Of Muthuswamy Dikshithar

Ambi Dhikshithar

She bloomed under the tutelage of various gurus. Her musical journey began at the age of ten when her father brought her to Madras. She came to Madras to take up the Government technical examination in music which had a practical session of singing and her three judges were none other than the much revered “Tiger” Varadachariar, Ambi Dikhshithar and Prof. Sambamurthy. When the judges asked the little DKP what song she liked to render, they were in for a great surprise. DKP chose to sing ‘Sri Subramanyaaya Namasthe’ in the raga kambhoji composed by Muthuswamy Dikshithar. Little was she but her attempt was indeed a big one and the judges were so impressed and no one can deny the fact that DKP known for her perfect rendition of this krithi made a great impact on the judges. Ambi Dikshithar, one of the three judges requested DKP’s father not to return back home, Kanchipuram but to stay on at Madras so that he could teach the little girl krithis of Sri Muthuswamy Dikshithar and here her musical journey started, learning from none other than the grand nephew of one of the Trinities of Carnatic music, Sri Muthuswamy Dikshithar. Under his able tutorship, DKP learnt many krithis - 'Kanchadalaayadaakshi' in 'KamalaManohari' raga, Baalagopaala in 'Bhairavi'. During her days of learning the bhairavi krithi, it is learnt that she was so overwhelmed with the mesmerising effect of the nishadha of bhairavi and literally cried during the rendering of anupallavi- 'neela niradha sarira…'. And when her guru Ambi Dikshithar asked her about the tears… she simply replied that the nishada that he sang touched her soul and that she was unable to sing as tears swelled… she would always wonder if she would be able to render the nishada in the raga the way he did. Ambi Dikshithar was so surprised at the young DKP’s love for the raga and he mentioned to her that she had the sharpness to appreciate the right note in the raga- "thulliamana gnanam"…. Who can deny the magical spell of DKP’s bhairavi - the raga which is rightly described by many as the bewitching bhairavi? Sri Ambi Dikshithar promised young DKP’s father that he would like to teach her more music and requested them to come over to Ettayapuram where he was the court musician. He returned back to Ettayapuram and sadly he passed away. Thus Little DKP’s beginning of the musical journey was marked strongly by the influence of Sri Ambi Dikshithar. Though it was only a short period of training it formed a strong base for her future quest in musical learning.

Prof Sambamurthi Tiger Varadachariar