Tuesday, August 23, 2005


I remember him every day. I miss him a lot. It is often difficult to believe that he is no more. He was there with me during all of my growing phase. I expected him to be there till the end of my life. But then, world doesn't work that way, does it? He passed away about one and a half years back. But he still exists in my memories, my thoughts. After all, he is my "Ajja" ( In kannada, we call grandpa as Ajja).

Ajja was a very special person. He had this magnanimous personality. He had this fierce temper too. Mom tells me that his temper was unbearable sometimes during his early days. But we grandchildren never experienced much of his temper. In fact, he used to be very, very patient with us. Ajja was multi-talented. He stayed at Kalbagh, a small neighbourhood in a village called Areangadi. His main income was from the arecanut plantations. But he did not live his life only as a farmer. He was into music, drama and yakshagana ( folk dance of North Kanara).

He invited eminent musicians home and learnt music from them. He also compelled his children to get into music. It seems that he made his children ( that included my mom) get up at 3 in the morning and practise music. He played a host to lot of musicians ( both popular and budding musicians) and organized lot of music concerts ( some of them at his house). He helped lot of new musicans in earning their bread.

He was the director of many plays. He also used to perform the key roles in those plays. Those plays that he directed were musical plays. People tell me that his role of " Sathya Harischandra" is very memorable. He was also very interested in yakshagana and encouraged the artists.

In spite of his talents, Ajja never wanted to become famous. He preferred staying in his remote village and continued his service to art. In a way, he worshipped art. He had all the primary musical instruments at home.

He was not very educated. But he knew life. He knew its depths and intricacies. He helped people in their times of distress. And he helped them without any expectations.

Personally, I was very fond of him. He too, was very fond of his grandchildren. He eagerly waited for us during every vacation.

Ajja might have left. But as I mentioned before, he still exists. He exists in music, in talents of his children ( all his nine children are talented musicians) and in memories of those people whom he helped.

It was a pain to see him in pain during his last days. He did not know that he had cancer. He believed that he would become fine very soon and nursed dreams of doing lot of things.

Thank you, Ajja, for being with us. Thank you for teaching us life. Thank you for bringing music into our lives. We will always be proud of you.


Sphinx said...

Hey Madhoo,

Somewhere long back i read that "To live in the hearts of people you love is to not die at all."

The people we love might have gone away, but they are not dead until no one remembers them fondly.

Madhooo said...

Yes, Sphinx, I agree. Maybe that is why I feel that Ajja is still alive.:-)

i-me-moi said...

I think I owe him a personal tribute. Anyone who contributes to spreading music through the world, deserves a commendation. The beauty he passed on through his daughter and now you, if not widespread brings sublime joy to me and M, what else could your Ajja have asked for. His life stands immortalized in 2 generations away from his time.

Madhooo said...

Thanks for that beautiful tribute, sprechen.