D K PATTAMMAL AND D K JAYARAMAN
It gives me great pride and pleasure to write about my father Sri D K Jayaraman and my aunt Smt D K Pattammal. Their relationship can be compared to the roots and trunk of the same tree. She was not only his elder sister and guru but she was more of a mother to her little brother. He used to consult her in every decision that was to be made in his life – be it concert or domestic affairs. Even at the time of purchasing our house at Alwarpet (in 1972), he gave his house the name ‘Rohini’ which is the birth star of DKP whom he affectionately called ‘Patta’. They used to spend hours together on phone talking about a concert which is either to take place or one that just got over. They used to plan the concert over phone. I have never seen them have practice sessions in view of a concert but they were an ideal idol of how a guru and sishya relationship should be. Never did my father make any mistake nor would athai look back in apprehension at her student brother. The audience would feel that the concert was presented after infinite sessions of practise together. He used to follow his sister like a shadow and never would he take lead in over enthusiasm. Even if he plans for his individual concert, he used to consult her and decide the list and would unfailingly take her blessings before he leaves for a concert. I remember, he would give the entire list of his Music Academy concert, in advance and would go ahead with the list only if she approves of it – even if he were to introduce a new composition of any contemporary composer. And you can be sure athai would be sitting in the first row of audience during the concert too! And as soon as the concert was over – he would receive his first concert review from his sister the same night. She would undoubtedly be full of praises and would feel elated about the genius of her brother/student. I have witnessed at several occasions audience who have attended my father’s concert would hold on to athai’s hand and give their appreciations to her. I remember having observed her face which would be lit up like ‘shatakoti surya prakasa’.
I have attended several concerts of athai where my father used to give vocal support. Each one was literally an electrifying one – in which the great mridangam maestro Palghat Mani Iyer would accompany them.
My father would advise all his students especially women students to observe and inculcate the habit of putting talam – the way DKP used to do – however intricate the krithi or pallavi (RTP) would be – the pat of the talam on the thigh would never be heard at the same time the grip of rhythm never lost. Even her posture was almost like a statue – she would never wave her hands in the air to express her music.
Athai was very fond of a particular dish ‘mango pappu’ and every time my mother made it my father would lovingly send it to his sister. She would immediately call and they would start talking about their mother’s ‘kai manam’ (Rajamma’s cooking expertise).
They have never failed to mention with gratitude that the strict and disciplined upbringing of their father Sri Damal Krishnaswamy Dikshitar is the cause of their present fame and popularity.
Athai used to very often say that her little brother Jayaraman had the brain like ‘karpooram’ and my father would mutually admire her for her fortitude and endurance.
He would cite her life to all his students as an example to lead a happy life, with a very warm and affectionate perennial smile devout face.
It was well justified why my father would worship his elder sister Smt D K Pattammal as a living Goddess Saraswathi.