This has been a sad week. Three people, all 82 and all geniuses in their own artforms, joined Mother Earth. First it was P.B.Srinivas, next it was Shakuntala Devi and now Lalgudi G.Jayaraman.
I had seen him in Mysore as a young chap when he used to give concerts at the annual Sri Rama Navami music festival near our house in Chamarajapuram. Connoisseurs and even general public used to gather at the venue and overflow into the pavements and road side kerbs to listen to his violin. Lalgudi's was famous, like Mysore's own Chowdiah's. Here is the blogpost that comes 'somewhat' from the place where I saw him play the violin. See here:
The Hindu carries this beautiful slide show: [Click]. About 23 images to bring back his memories.
The Hindu reports the death news, April 23, 2013. [Click]
My Veena-playing aunt would be close to the radio when Lalgudi G.Jayaraman's violin would be broadcast. I do not know the intricacies of music but I felt there was some magic in Lalgudi's strings.
There was a little autograph book my aunt was maintaining from the 1960s and had safely kept with her. It had some rare autographs of great musicians as she was a music fan. I used to browse the little pages of this now and then as I was fond of looking at how great people scripted their signatures. The most impressive of them all was undoubtedly Lalgudi's. It was as special as his string magic. It is a mystery how this book has gone missing since the 90s. It is still untraced. But now I reproduce from memory a vague imitation of his beautiful autograph.... look at the violin he had drawn. I cannot recall if he wrote the 'G' in the middle. Like his violin, the autograph also 'sang'. How I miss the original autograph!