Smt. D K Pattammalmaami – a fond and cherished remembrance from a very close family friend, disciple & accompanist (mridangam).

Our family was indeed truly blessed, thanks to our father Sri C V Narasimhan and mother Smt.LalithaNarasimhan, to have a long association with the legendary Smt D K Pattammal and Sri Iswaranmaama.

The earliest association was through my father, Sri. C. V.Narasimhan, who happened to be associated with the Bharatiya Music and Arts Society, Bombay for a long time. In this connection, he had the good fortune of inviting Smt. DKP on many occasions for music concerts. Each one of them were truly a learning and divine experience for all of us. The simplicity, which Smt DKP displayed at all times, was something, which we as youngsters, yearned to emulate as a role model. Her passion for music was immeasurable and her absolute command over all aspects of sangitham was very evident. The authenticity, with which she presented both easy and difficult raagas, compositions both rare and frequently heard, neravals, kalpanaaswaraas, pallavis, thukkadas, padams, javalis, thiruppugazhs the list actually is endless, was a marvel in itself. This was significant also considering the fact that legends like Mahavidwaan Sri Palghat Mani Iyer, used to be accompanying her on most of the concerts.

There have been so many instances where Smt. DKP and Sri Iswaran have stayed in our house at Bombay, while on concert engagements. On one occasion it was the holy kaarthigai festival and Pattammal would always recollect with awe, the swiftness with which my mother prepared neiyappam and its delicious taste, which was lingering in her mouth. There was never a time, where her praise for my mother, father, sister and myself was ever restricted. It was free flowing and a blessing for us all the time.

It is with this background, that my father approached Smt. DK Pattammal and Sri.Palghat Mani Iyer to be the chief guest for his daughter Jayashree’sarangetram in the year 1978 at Bombay. Both Smt DKP and Sri PMI readily agreed to it. In fact, Sri PMI had volunteered and said that he would preside over my sister Jayashree’sbharatanaatyamarangetram, during one of his various stays in our house, whilst on concert to Bombay.

My father promptly arranged for a concert by Smt DKP, the next day, with Sri D K Jayaraman’s vocal support, Sri ThiruparkadalVeeraraghavan on the violin and Sri Palghat Mani Iyer on the mridangam.

Attached is a picture taken at my sister Jayashree’sarangetram one with Smt DKP and the other with Sri PMI. The third one is the concert picture

It is around the same time that I have had the greatest fortune of receiving a prize from the legend Smt DKP, for a competition held by the Shanmukhananda Fine Arts and SangeethaSabha, Bombay.

Each one of Smt D K Pattammal’smusic concerts was a learning experience for me and I vividly remember her rendition of the ThodipallaviVelavaneyninadhupadamey (rendered in 3 kalaichatushrajaatitriputataalam) and had the good fortune of learning this pallavi from her directly.

I have spent many sessions at the kotturpuram residence, whenever she was in Madras, learning the finer nuances of sangeetham. She has always welcomed my music with an open mind and suggested ways of improvement. For instance, the right pronunciations, correct split of the saahityam in Saint Tyagaraja’skoluvamaragadhakriti in thodi (aakaleetheerapaalaaravindha) etc.

Her encouragement at the concerts, where I have had the privilege to accompany, is something truly noteworthy and true to her style of encouragement and offering motherly affection. These have been many and some noteworthy concerts are the ones at Spicmacay IIT Bombay, Sri VeenaS Balanchader’s Remembrance Day Madras, and concerts in Bangalore etc. She is an epitome of love and affection, which she partakes without any kalmasham or blemish.

Iswaranmaama has also readily accepted with warmth, each and every proposal put forth by my father earlier, and also my mridangam accompaniment and learning with Smt. DKP.

Smt DKP & Sri Iswaran blessed my parents on their shastiabdapoorthi, and my wife immediately after our marriage, a pic of each of which is attached

What truly stands out when we refer the name Smt DKP is


Concluding with a beautiful picture of Smt DKP with Smt Vyjayantimala

Bombay C N Balaji