P.S. Narayanaswamy performed a significant position in passing on his impeccable musical legacy to a legion of scholars
The mischievous twinkle in his eyes was unmissable. He was stuffed with zest and joie de vivre. He was compassionate and magnanimous. PSN sir, as he was fondly known as, epitomised the adage, ‘Artwork is a mirrored image of 1’s inside self.’ Whether or not it was singing the sangathis of his guru Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer or ingesting his steaming scorching cup of kaapi or listening to a raga alapana, he did all of it with full involvement.
PSN sir tuning the tambura
An exemplary musician and a beneficiant guru, sir donned a number of hats with easy ease. My earliest reminiscence of him was when he visited my first guru and his shut affiliate, Ok.R. Kedaranathan. After keenly listening to our singing, he would level out every youngster’s ability and talk about with our guru what was greatest for us. I noticed the identical meticulous strategy and care after I subsequently educated beneath him. He made studying pleasurable and significant.
His vadyar (Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer) meant the world to him. Each sangathi he learnt from him was handed on diligently. He believed in upholding classicism and adhering to his bani. And but, as a instructor, he gave his pupils, wings to fly. “His best attribute as a guru was providing his sishyas a wealthy, layered and assorted expertise. He gave them freedom to counterpoint their canvas, fusing his steering and their exploration and enabling them to seek out their very own path,” say vocalist-duo Ranjani and Gayatri.
Bharathi Ramasubban, who learnt beneath PSN sir from childhood, says, “An ashutosha, he took immense pleasure within the smallest of issues. Sir allowed his college students the time and house to blossom.”
Whether or not senior disciples like Udupi Gopalakrishnan, Balamuralikrishna, Abhishek Raghuram, Calcutta Shankar, Shankar Srinivas, Radha Parthasarathy; or youthful ones like Sunil Gargyan, Prithvi, Akshay Padmanabhan and Manasvini (unimaginable to listing all of the names), each single scholar gained via his tireless nurturing and the pleasure he confirmed of their progress.
Guru P.S. Narayanaswami seen together with his disciples
He would take efforts to hearken to the live shows of all his disciples and encourage them. “He had a novel means of dispelling doubts and nervousness when he attended a scholar’s live performance,” says vocalist Gayathri Venkataraghavan.
A.S. Murali recollects how he by no means took any dakshina for instructing, however a small quantity of no matter a scholar gave volitionally can be put right into a hundi for use for charity functions.
C.R. Vaidyanathan is glad to have had the possibility to supply him vocal assist throughout his live shows and for having the ability to train college students in Narada Gana Sabha in his presence.
PSN sir was dedicated to Tyagaraja, Sadasiva Brahmendral, and Kanchi Mahaswami. He raised funds and organised the Tyagaraja Swami Akhandam in Tiruvaiyar throughout Sivaratri, and the Brahmendral aradhana at Manamadurai yearly. Even after he stopped travelling, he would go to the Tyagaraja Vidwat Samajam in Mylapore.
An incredible tunesmith, PSN sir set to tune the songs of Ramalinga Swami and Narayana Tirtha and the Mooka Panchashati. He valued the data he gained by interacting with vidwans throughout his tenure on the All India Radio.
P.S. Narayanaswamy was unaffected by the various honours he obtained, a few of them being the Padma Bhushan, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and the Sangita Kala Acharya title from the Music Academy. These recognitions didn’t divert him from his major objective of disseminating music. “His music is just like the elixir, the magic potion that has been fed into us organically,” says Kunnakudi Balamuralikrishna.
Phrases appear insufficient to explain P.S. Narayanaswamy. As I attempt to reconcile to the truth that I’ll by no means once more sit in his class and luxuriate in his heat and kindness, I remind myself that the torch he lit should maintain burning shiny. The music will at all times pay homage to him.
The author is a well known Carnatic musician.