My father has told that, if when talking about songs, one tells DKP even very casually that it has been very long since hearing a particular song, whichever song it may be, she would definitely sing it at the next meeting very humbly. Sometimes she would even render them in concerts. Her pAdAntharam amazed him.

If father told her that no one sings the Thyagaraja Kriti, ‘rAra seethA’ in rAgA ‘hindOla vasantham’, she would learn the song within a week and sing it so beautifully at the next concert. She would not tell anything in advance about her intention to sing that song. At the concert, she would sing the song with a subtle smile completely surprising my father and he would play the Mridangam so merrily. “There is no song that DKP does not know. Whatever song is asked she would sing it in the next concert or within 15 days. Same with even ‘Thiruppugazh’. But for a great pAdAntharam it is impossible for anyone to sing like that”, my father would tell with astonishment.

My father’s favorite among RTPs rendered by DKP was ‘SrIrAma jayarAma’ (jaganmOhini). In addition to standard RTPs, DKP would also sing the pallavis of some kritis as the pallavis in RTPs. My father has made specific references to them and some of them are:

She would sing, ‘parama pAvana’ in rAgA ‘pUrvi kalyAni’,
‘entharO mahAnubhAvulu’ in ‘kAmbhOdhi’ and
‘mAmava pattAbhirAma’ in Kanda nadai.

The pallavi composed by Naina Pillai, “NenjE ninai anbE” was one of his favorite pieces. Both my father and Smt DKP deliriously endeavored and set that pallavi in thisra, chaturasra and kanda nadais and as DKP sang and Mani Iyer played, there was not a single person in the audience who did not get stupefied and tell, “What a pAdAntharam! What a playing!”.

Lalitha Sivakumar