It is said that one needs to accrue certain punya in the previous birth to attain certain blessings in the next life. I truly believe that it was my bhagya to have had an opportunity to learn music for a few years from Amma. I started taking lessons from her in the early 80's and continued to do so even after I got married and settled in the US. I would keep in touch with her by phone and letters and would visit her and learn songs whenever I visited home. Even my daughters were blessed to have learnt a few songs from her when they used to come to class with me. She was a very patient and humble soul for someone of her stature. Perhaps not having had a sister or a daughter of her own, she treated all her female students as one or the other depending on their age, and was very affectionate to everyone. She was a very astute and intelligent woman and very diplomatic in her interaction with one and all. A very patient teacher, who would make sure her students repeat the sangathis exactly as taught. One can be assured that her sangathis never change, whether rendered years before or later. The patantharam was kept intact.The Azhutham in her sahityas, especially Dikshitar kritis can be relished only by those who have a sound knowledge of music.

She not only gave tips on music but also on some of her mother's favorite Kanchipuram special recipes. She would often reminisce emotionally about her parents and her childhood. Whenever I offered my namaskarams to her before and after class, she would never stinge on her blessings. It truly came from her heart.

I will always treasure my time with her as a student who learnt not only music but also other valuable lessons of life.

Chitra Dharmarajan