DK Pattammal - My Goddess Gaana Saraswathi

I believe it is the association of my ancestors and benefits of a thousands years collected for me to meet an incredible legend like Her. She is more than a Guru to me. I owe each Svaras (music notes) to Her. The considerable doyen of Carnatic Music who supported the enthusiasm for Carnatic Music in this Chinese boy.

When I initially met Her, tears started flowing down my cheeks. I didn't know who She was yet I felt such a large amount of affection from Her aura. The reason for me going to Chennai was to enhance my Sathya Sai Baba bhajan singing, yet lamentably I couldn't stand to stay longer in Chennai because of financial constraints. With God's Grace, after bunches of good and bad times, I, at last met Her. I had so much to say, but however when I saw Her, I couldn't speak a word until I settled down in her hall. Her eyes loaded with affection and she was so lovely, similar to Goddess Meenakshi. To me, the experience felt as if Sathya Sai Baba, my Lord, came in Her form to me.

I still recall during my first class, she told me that she could not sleep till 4am. I asked Her why, and she said, "I was thinking how to teach you. The Language barrier is hard to cross at my old age." I was so touched. After sometime she said she will teach me a composition of Muthusvami Dikshithar-- Shri Guruguha in Devakriya ragam.

When she uttered the word Sharavanabhava, I followed exactly. She then said "Balleh Balleh Balleh..." I felt a new hope in music rising. She is the Goddess Sarasvathi in my musical journey. Pattammal's class was never restricted to time. At times, I will be with Her for more than 3 hours. She'd prepare food for me and would sometimes feed me with her own hands. Here, she demonstrates why She is my Goddess Annapoorna.

She doesn't expect anything from anyone. Once due to my ignorance, I accidentally said something very hurting to Her. Being the most compassionate person I have ever known, she told me "you are still young, it's ok." She is ever forgiving. That night I cycled around for hours and finally I found a nice cotton saree and gave it to Her. She said that it was her favourite colour. I could still recall that She was in love with the annam (swan) that was printed on the border. But She was unhappy that I spent money. I prostrated at Her feet and persuade Her to accept the saree. In fact She asked me to return it back to the shop and get the money back. After countless attempts at persuading Her, She finally accepted the saree and wore it the next day. She looked like Tripura Sundari, Goddess Lalitha to my eyes.

She has so much of love and she never said no to any of my request. One day, I pestered Her to teach me a Pallavi in Jagan Mohini ragam. She lovingly agreed. I struggled and yet She patiently taught me the whole Pallavi. Her knowledge in music is like an ocean. She handled Pallavi majestically. She is like the Goddess Raja Rajeshvari.

When I was going to depart India back to Malaysia, She decided to give me a ring, a beautiful ruby ring. When She passed me the ring, the ray from the stone deflected off Her nose ring. Her 'mukkutti' shun so brightly, that the serenity in Her face brightened my entire day. What else can I say, She is the Goddess Kamakshi in my heart. When she adopted her God-Grandson, She gave him the name Sai Madhana Mohan Kumar, the name I go by now. She is a thousand mothers to me.

When a tear drops from your eye,

A drop of blood falls from my heart.

Aren't you the one in my eye, Pattamma?

Isn't my life all Yours?

If I have children for namesake and relations for conversation,

Who knows what I need?

Only a Goddess like you will know.

Aum Shri Gaana Saravathyai Namaha..

With Love,

By
Your Mohan Chong Chiu Sen