Jan 23, 2007

Our Guru-Part 1

Prof Neyyatinkara Mohanachandran Sir was our GURU ( and still is in our minds). We had our advanced training under him for more than 9 years and every single session we had with him is as fresh as ever.

I still remember the first krithi he taught us. It was GanarajenaRakshithoham in Arabhi. Those days, we were not serious about our music. We used to feel bad when all our friends had a nice time playing, going out etc. And, we never knew how valid each second was with our Guru. He was a treasure house of knowledge, and every line he sang conveyed an era of experience.

Well, before I get into the subject let me tell you some facts about my Guru. He started learning music initially under his mother. He had a long stint of training in Annamalai University, Mysore, under giants like Shri Alathur Siva Subrahmania Iyer , Shri Alathur Srinivasa Iyer,Shri T K Rangachari, Shri Dandapani Desikar, Dr S. Ramanathan etc etc.
In between our classes he used to recount his experiences. We waited eagerly for those tit bits of information. He felt very strongly about it and whenever he spoke about those days the atmosphere was quite electrifying and inspiring. He talked about the methods the teachers adopted those days. We were astonished to note the attention to details. Before a krithi was taught, the first phase was to learn the Sahitya, and understand its meaning, know where to split the words while singing so that the meaning does not get distorted. My GURU, followed this style while teaching us and he would first explain the sahithya. One rare feat he would perform before getting into any krithi would be to literally repeat the sahithya as if it were enacted in a drama, without any music. We were amazed at the correct diction and speed in which it flowed out. His memory was very sharp. He would repeat the 72 melakartha ragas in one breath. The Sahityas were all in his finger tips. Never seen him struggling to recollect the Sahitya or the tune of a Krithi

I consider it very sacred to recount our days with Shri Mohanachandran Sir and will come up with the next part soon. In the next part I will talk about his strict and disciplined routine and some of the lighter moments we shared with him.

So long then.

Musically urs,
Srikrishna Mohan ( For Trichur Brothers)