Sunday, June 17, 2012

Oh poop!

Let me make it clear at the outset that all images in this post are borrowed from the web. Don't 'yuck' at them... they are not real or mine!

I sometimes ponder why people say 'Oh shit!' instead of 'Oh dung!' or 'Oh excreta!' or 'Oh faeces!' or 'Oh stool!' or 'Oh poop!'?  There is even 'Holy shit'! 

Shit has deservedly earned a rightful place in the list of seven most vulgar English words even though is is just to express annoyance, anger or even surprise!  'Googling' will open new vistas on this and you just can't say it is 'bullshit'!  Not for nothing it is one of the most interesting subjects of laughter and fun, even though it is generally unpleasant, like its own smell.

The picture above reminded me of a funny sight which my friend saw and shared with us.  Some years ago he had gone to New Delhi's Pragati Maidan where an agricultural fair was held.  Thousands of farmers and participants attended from different parts of the country. When he once went to the urinals, a sight he will never forget in his life was waiting for him.  Remember it was only the male urinal and one of the urinal pans was full of 'unflushed' fresh shit!  May be it was some villager's work of art in dire emergency, may be he was unable to locate the toilet 'on time', only he will have known.  He may also have had no time to inquire and search for one either, going by the result which left my friend so puzzled that he wonders about it even today:  "How can such a thing be done there, of all places?"  Let us stop wondering its aftermath!  Scavenger coming to clean on his routine... more people visiting the urinal inbetween...and so on!

Many years ago, I was at the Pathologist Lab with my 'sample stool' for test, under advice from my doctor who had clearly told me how much to take and go.  As I was waiting, a villager entered with an old tin jar in hand.  He was also there for the same purpose, but with the entire lot, much to the astonishment of the lab people and a few of us there.  It was a very funny sight of him opening the lid of the box and showing them his 'sample'!  "Can't you bring a small quantity?" asked the lady who was at the reception. "I did not know, so 'this'!" replied the villager, looking at the box in hand.

A decade ago, I saw lots of  neatly arranged human shit on a pavement in Kolkata.  The vendor was selling fake models. The shit was so beautifully molded and so natural in colour and appearance that I almost bought one out of severe temptation.  Just ten rupees.  Even knowing that it was fake, people were closing their nostrils and walking away, laughing at this lovely prank toy which was very similar to this image below!

This is better compared to the work of someone who had made a fantastic cake to resemble an Indian style closet as in this picture below!

Someone would have relished it after it was pictured!

Why should people nauseate so much when they see human fecal matter?  After all it was the same 'raw materials' which had gone in from the upper end of the alimentary canal!  We compare toothpaste being squeezed out of the tube with 'this'. They say "One's own shit doesn't smell."  How right that quote is!

In fact, one's stool is a great indicator of health or lack of it.  So, we must keep an eye on it, not literally. Observe. Dr.N.Krishnamurthy, a renown naturopath and retired Scientist has published a very insightful paper which can be found in this link - [click here]. Oh shit!  How I wish I had known these before!

In our beautiful country, a pile of poop is common sight. Cattle, dog, human, pig, donkey, horse and even elephant sometimes, even now.  Trained [but not toilet-trained!] elephants that are taken for routine walks across the streets for exercise. We were told that stamping on fresh elephant dung has medicinal effects and we did that in our younger days when we found to our luck, some dropping from the pachyderms.

See many uses of the word 'shit' in this link:

"Shit floats to the top."  This is a highly meaningful quote. 

Childhood injury memories

There is no child that has not bled from injuries, esp from falling while running.   It can be from jumping also.    Certain childhood injuries linger in memory for a long while esp. the deeper and bigger ones even though there are no scars to remind.  Let me try to remember some of the injuries I sustained in my childhood. 

These days, people rush to the doctor and take an ATS shot whenever they get injured, afraid of consequences from it.  In those days - I'm talking of the 1960s and 70s - we used to just wash off the blood and do some home dressing.  I don't think ATS was spoken about with such seriousness in my younger days. May be they were used in hospitals for surgical wounds.

We children would do 'first aid' ourselves from what was found 'at the injury site'.  We looked for some thrown matchbox - the phosphorus strip would be torn and applied to the wound as it was believed to disinfect.  We did not use the word 'disinfect', but it was believed it sped up healing!  Even thrown cigarette pack paper/carton would come in handy to remove blood from the wound as much as possible and often they would be pressed on the wound until we went home.  Some boys used to borrow a small amount of coffee powder which was applied on the wound!  If there was a tap [water was available 24x7 in taps!!] close to the place of injury, we would rush and wash the wound and then go home.  If the injury was small, we just continued to play.  

We often tripped and fell on rough tar roads in the process of  quick running!  If I imagine that now, it gives me goosebumps. We cared nothing.  You know, we played various games on the mud pavement or on the tar roads, from cricket to hide and seek to marbles to gulli danda to 'police-catch-thief' and whatnot.  All barefoot. Wearing our hawaii rubber slippers for play was unthinkable even on hot summer afternoon play!  

Running the bicycle tire

When I was about 8-9, I was playing with an old bicycle tire. This was a very popular pastime.  We just ran around the street. When we wanted to go to a friends's house, or on some small shopping errand we ran fast 'drove' the tire with a stick.  It was a thrill to run after and control  it when it went down a gradient. 

Once I was going my friend Srinivas' house, driving my tire fast, so fast that I must have tripped something and fell flat on my stomach.  I still cannot recollect why I was running so fast!  There was a deep cut on the right wrist on the spot where doctors feel the pulse!  It took a long time for the blood to clot.  I returned home , tire in my left hand. I cannot remember crying for it as I mostly didn't.  The scar mark is still visible, although faintly. But I remember the fall near Srinivas' house clearly.

I used to be sent to my paternal aunt's rented [out] house in Basavanagudi, Bangalore during summer holidays. The main house had a wooden staircase that led to the open terrace.  There used to be a clothesline made of stiff zinc wire that was hung across, between the staircase and the door of my aunt's house.  One evening, the children of the owner's house had gone out and so I alone to play.  It was getting dark.  I climbed to the terrace, looked at the panoramic view as I had nothing to do.  I was careful not to go near the low parapet. On the way down, I decided to jump on the cement floor without stepping on the last 4-5 steps of that wooden staircase. When I did that, I felt something hitting and scraping my throat.  I landed, shocked.  It was that zinc wire!  I could neither remember its presence nor could notice it because of poor light.  I realized that the wire had injured me.  Very fortunately, because the wire was loosely strung, it had absorbed much of the impact while it 'played'. The portion below the jaw was red and burning.  It bothered me for a few days, but I never revealed it to my aunt lest she got tense as I was placed under her custody during the holidays. Nobody got to learn about this.

Fall from the bicycle
When I was in 7th or so, I was using my late uncle's Robin Hood bicycle [I still use it] that was available.  I was still too short for it.  My legs would not reach the pedals or ground sitting on the saddle. I could not either. So we shorter kids had learnt the art of riding the bicycle standing on the pedal on left foot and using the right foot for the other pedal, through the centre triangle of bars.  This required a different kind of balancing and control with the hands. At times, we had our left hand holding the handle and brake and the right hand was gripped on the saddle!  So only one brake, the rear one was in use!  When I imagine this now, with me riding like this down the gradient and quite fast, I get a chill or two! Of course traffic was not an issue at all but the element of risk was, of falling down.

My father was very fond of Masalay Dosay.  So on Sundays he would bring the parcel of Masalay Dosay for all of us for breakfast.  That home-hotel in neighbouring Krishnamurthypuram was famous for breakfast items Idli and Dosay.   Sometimes I would be sent to bring the dosays each costing 25 paise.  I used to take that opportunity because it was a time when I could go away from our street on the bicycle alone!  

I had bought the parcel and was returning home with the bag hung on the handlebar. When I was just 50 feet away from our gate, I had a fall because I recall that I had sped the last few feet and I do not know why I did that nor can I recall exactly how it happened.  It was a nasty fall. The bag of dosays was on the ground.  I had scraped my left knee on the rough tar road.  It was a wide scraped wound that made my life difficult for many days, so was the scar.  It disappeared over the years, like many such ones did.  But one scar remains. It was not from a fall, but from a flying splinter.  I was about 5 years young then.  The neighbour's house was being constructed and I was watching along with Buddi [same age] how they were cutting steel rods with a hammer and chisel.  Suddenly I felt something flowing down my left shin.  I had not felt the splinter hitting there at all. May be I was too engrossed in watching.  At the sight of blood, I started crying and I did not know to run home. My friend ran away.  A passerby on his bicycle, who was incidentally staying in a hostel on the same street recognized me and carried home.  He also took me to Mysore Pharmacy in KM Puram where Dr. VR Krishnaswamy Rao treated me - a few stitches and bandage!  The scar, as wide as a British Pound coin, remains!  

Splinter in the thumb
There is an old Carrom Board on which we used to play quite frequently.  I was unbeatable on it.....because it had unusually large 'pockets'!  :)  The frame of this board, probably from the 1940s, had got worn out and at places where the striker hit very often it had developed splinters.  During a game I had got a long one pierced by it between the left thumb skin and nail so deep that it required a little operation at a clinic.  That part is the most painful as it contains nerve-endings.  I 'did it' again after a few years in the same spot, less deeper.  The colour of the thumbnail has since slightly discoloured.  

Ear lobe torn
We used to play cricket in the open yard of my neighbour.  One evening, we were playing with a hard cork ball. I had a sudden impulse to stand very very close to the batsman to catch him 'off the bat'!  It was a very risky proposition. I was lucky only to be got torn in the ear [pinna] that required one stitch.  Once again, it was the same doctor to whom my neighbour Narendra had taken me on his bicycle.  My grandmother never came to know of this injury. I was always facing her with the injury opposite side to her!  I managed this for many days until the stitch was removed.

We were afraid if we fell in school.  We dreaded Tincture of Iodine for its burning sensation.  At home also, antiseptic lotion Dettol was kept handy with some cotton.  The most I suffered from an injury was in the throat. Read about it here. 

That is all for this post.  May be some day, I will try to gather a list of injuries post-childhood and post!  

Cobblers, Tyre Sandals

'Cobbler' has more than one meaning.  One: A sweetened ice drink, usually made from fruit and wine. Two: One who makes or mends boots and shoes.  This post is related to the second one.

Cobblers are an integral part of our society, along with barbers, tailors, doctors and so on.  Some prefer to be called as 'shoemakers' instead of 'cobblers', the same way, barbers like to be called 'hair dressers' or tailors like to be called as 'dress makers', etc.  Why, even the 'housewife' is now wanting to be called a 'homemaker'! Fancy terms, but their jobs remains the same old one! 

He used to sit on Sayyaji Rao Road pavement [photo taken 5 years ago]

In many cities, including Mysore, some cobblers are found sitting on the pavement to earn their livelihood by repairing footwear.  They are a godsend for passers by who may snap a strap or sole on their way.  He will say, 'poor sole' instead of 'poor soul'!   They choose shady trees. Tree trunks are their back rests.  They make it their work place, for which even they have to lubricate the cop's palm, if you see what I mean.  There was a certain street cobbler who had even grown a few plants around 'his workplace tree'!

These pavement cobblers are usually poverty-striken, but some that are enterprising and have enough financial resources, open a shop and sell the products employing a few cobblers.

The way cobblers on the pavement look at the marching feet of pedestrians on busy pavements  in anticipation of some business is fun to watch.  Feet dragging with a snapped slipper is a pleasant sight for the cobbler.  The delight is mutual!  The waiting cobbler knows he will be spotted and that 'business' will find its way to him!

People who have suddenly snapped a strap while on an outing, know how annoying it is!  Many of us have this experience at least once.  When we have been caught in places where they are not found, we have even hand-carried the [repairable] footwear and reached our destinations barefoot!  Or, sometimes, when the snapped sandal was very old and beyond repair, we have even gone straight to the shoe shop and bought a new pair and happily discarded the 'gone pair' then and there!

He was on the pavement near Town Hall

Unlike now, I emphasize 'unlike now', in the olden days, people used many things until they were stretched to the maximum limits possible.  It could be a pen, pencil, clothes, umbrellas, watches, shirt buttons, bicycle tires, sandals, shoes, or whatever.  A thing was discarded only when its value and service was squeezed out to the fullest.  There were/are repairers also for all things.  A thing was replaced only after the old one was discarded.  No extra thing was unnecessarily bought.  It was not about 'scrooging', but being judicious.  A new pair of footwear was bought only when the old one was beyond repair or had become too 'small' for comfort.

Tyre Sandals
My father used to get his sandals hand-stitched at a shop on Vinobha Road, Shivarampet from the shoe-maker who had a good reputation for his workmanship.  He specialized in making very good sandals using good leather and discarded car tires from which soles were cut.   The measurement of the feet were taken by the cobbler himself.  I forget his name.  He would usually deliver the finished item late, as is probably their 'professional wont'!

[The tire sole chappals were like this, but thicker]

My father would use the same pair for many years as they were so durable and a testimony for the cobbler's workmanship.  For the same reason he made me such custom made ones also when I was in high school [class 8-10 as there was no code for footwear].  Because of their had hard soles I was reluctant to wear them.  New ones could not be worn continuously because the stiffness of new leather would scrape off the skin and cause wounds.  So it had to be softened down by applying castor oil and keeping away for a few days.  The tire sole also had to be 'seasoned' by walking as it had to be made to take the natural curve at places where the feet bent as we took walking steps.  We felt comfortable only after it got flexible!  Footwear has to be flexible.

The neatly hand-stitched tire chappals of Shivarampet gave a lot of 'mileage'.  In those days, we walked quite a lot, again, unlike now.   My favourite alternative was the Hawaii Slippers made of rubber.  They remain my favourite even today, for many good reasons.

My favourite 'padukas'!  Lunar's brand Size 10. 
[click on link to know what a 'paduka' is]

Web-surfing about tire chappals showed me interesting results.  There are innovative people around, eh!  Look at this!  Here is a video demo [1m:46s] how to make them.  

     I remember a few cobblers who walked the streets calling loudly 'chapli repairy' (repairing footwear) to be heard inside the houses.  When someone had some job for him, he would be called.  If his quotation was agreeable, the job was got done on the spot.

Cricketers used to wear Buckskin boots in old times.  They were in vogue until as recently as the 1990s after which time shoe-making technology rapidly got improvized and mechanized what with good synthetic material became available and also popular, almost matching that of leather, if not better. I also used to wear these boots when I began playing cricket in the late 1970s and I used a few pairs for nearly 20 years.  My last one was stitched by one Sitaram in Bangalore.  I had gone there to give measurement when our team was there for league matches.  

Sitaram had earned a good reputation and expertise as a shoe maker.  His shop was near the old Bangalore Jail. Sitaram was especially famous among cricketers who were using traditional cricket boots.  They were before the 'sponsorship era'.  As such, the players would get them stitched by Sitaram.  Famous names included B.S.Chandrasekhar, Roger Binny, G.R.Viswanath, etc.  Vijayprakash, who also played for Karnataka and who was in our team, introduced me to Sitaram.  He made a pair for me beautifully.  It was very comfortable, better than the ready made ones I had previously bought, but since they were a trifle heavy, I grew reluctant to use them.  Later, I exchanged the pair with my team mate Ajay, whose shoe-size and mine were similar.  He felt comfortable with them.  I started using his shoes. For replacing the worn out studs, I used to borrow from my friend Subramaniam, an anvil belonging to his grandfather who was known to make his own shoes at home  I liked doing the small repairs myself.   

[Image of the Cobbler's anvil, web-grabbed]

Mahatma Gandhi was an expert cobbler and has stitched many pairs himself.  There is much information on the web about it. Here is just one. Click here.  This is an interesting link!

Here is is wearing simple leather chappals, which he probably made himself.  He is standing in front of 10, Downing Street, London in 1931. 

[The last pair of buckskin cricket boots I used - it was Ajay's]

Ready-made, 'Firefly' brand, leather sole, buckskin uppers.  I had to use good insoles for cushioning and also to prevent the sharp studs from piercing through the leather sole into the feet!  Ajay later left cricket and moved out of Mysore for greener pastures.  I used that pair for many matches and was very comfortable with them because they were lighter.  By then, I had begun to find the new rubber-studded shoes to be even lighter, more flexible and hence more comfortable and no hassles with stud-maintenance or getting stitched to order.  They were durable as well.  New technology had already pushed the traditional buckskin boots into oblivion.

Whatever, cobblers on the pavement will continue to be available till such time the administration prohibits and chases them away.

Adjacent to Curzon Park, on the pavement.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

One morning with an Oakblue butterfly

One morning, early this second week of June, I was sipping coffee beside my pond when I felt something falling at my right foot, from above.  Instinctively, I looked what fell.  It was a butterfly, in fact, a Large Oakblue.

On first look, I thought something was wrong with this insect.  But on closer look, I cancelled that impression and got a new one.  It seemed to be a newly emerged butterfly.  Its wings were falling over and it had no strength to fly. Immediately, I concluded that it indeed had newly emerged from its cocoon. It needed drying of its wings as the sun was rising. 

Leaving the coffee cup aside on the stone bench, I kept my index finger near it.  It crawled up fearlessly.  I kept it on the forearm and felt it had excreted something.  I wondered what it was.  It was like honey-like in colour but was thin like water. 

Close up of that 'honey drop'.

 I blew air to open the wings to show the lovely bright metallic blue colour of its upper side of the wings.  Picture below. Not for nothing it has been named as Oakblue!  When it flies around, we can see this colour.  It rarely sits long enough to shoot photos when it grows up. I have seen other oakblues flying around the branches of the almond tree, but it is almost impossible to get photos as it also does not seem to come down much. I had earlier found a dead one and photographed it. Probably this pupa was there on one branch that overhangs the pond.

The tiny caterpillars are susceptible to attack by [weaver] ants and that is probably the reason for its rare appearances.  Many might go eaten away before they pupate. They seem to love the almond tree [Terminalia catappa].

I looked into its eyes through the camera so that you too can look what I looked and what it looked like!

Its club-like antennae was slowly getting some red colour, its young eyes shining in the morning sun.

Then I left it on a day lily flower petal which was getting some sunlight so that it could dry its wings.  It sat there motionless and by this time, the wings had gained some stiffness and were not falling over anymore. The butterfly was getting ready for its first flight. The Sun ☼ does wonders to life on this planet, does it not?

A blue banded bee looking for pollen for its breakfast was wondering at this unusual sight. It hovered around a few times and flew away, but not before I got these two pictures.

After watching it for quite some time I bid good bye to it and left for my other morning duties before leaving for work. My coffee had become cold. But I did not mind today.

I have also added this butterfly's information on the database at Dave's Garden here:

Saturday, June 2, 2012

M.J.Srinivasa Iyengar - the Veena artiste and my aunt

Music does not run in the family, but it touched two ladies, my paternal aunts. The younger one, Gowramma, that lived with us all her life pursued her passion with dedication to the extent of becoming a tutor.  The elder one did not, after her marriage in 1941.  

There was a Mridanga at home.  
But this is a web-grabbed image.

The mridanga lay idle in a corner, like a corner-stool.  It had a hole in the leather near the black patch.  I still do not know who used to play it.  But I used to 'beat' it just to hear its sound for fun.  Subba, a poor man who used to come and help grind the spices in our kitchen had noticed this.  Since it was not in use, he asked it.  We gladly gave it to him.

There was a Harmonium, made in France, which my grandfather had bought for his eldest daughter [the elder paternal aunt] when she was young.  

This was in the attic in a nice box, a beautiful home to cockroaches!  Its 'blow-cloth' had been damaged by silver fish and the roaches.  It had beautiful original French brass reeds inside.  I gave away this instrument to a good friend whose daughter is rising in the vocal music world.  I took some pictures of it before giving.

I grew up watching, listening and fiddling the three Veenas at home and admiring the painting by Ravi Varma of Goddess Saraswathi with the Veena.

The melodious notes produced by the Veena is said to be closest to human voice and hence it is considered divine.

Gowramma was into music since her young days.  She had taken 'Music' at Christ the King Convent in her teens.  

This is like a small booklet.

This is a page from a bound book notes.  One date in it says1'948'.  She was 13 then. This is the handwriting of the music teacher who taught at the school.

Report card

Two of the three Veenas  were given by Chitra, a 'step-relative'. Since she did not play it anymore, she had given it to my aunt for use.  The remaining one was said to be made for the elder aunt.  It was later taken away by her descendants after Gowramma's death. You will see the third and smaller Veena later. 

Gowramma was learning Veena under the tutelage of the renown Vidwan, Sri M.J.Srinivasa Iyengar. 

This photo was taken in 1971 in our garden. 

What prompted this post was a news item in our local paper (Star of Mysore, May 26, 2012) reporting about the celebration of his 87th birthday, by his pupils.  

What his pupils performed was also reported in the paper. It was a very unique way indeed.

I wonder how they can make a mistake with Mrs. Padma's initials?  She is 'A.S.Padma'.

It is observed that dedicated musicians live a long life.  Music itself is a health therapy as the boffins are discovering in recent times.  No wonder they keep an active lifestyle and keep themselves occupied, emitting positive vibrations all around.

I remember MJS since the mid 1960s.  He used to come home and teach my aunt for about an hour.  It was in the room adjacent to the hall.  Two straw mats were spread on the floor on the day he was supposed to come - on alternate days.  He was given a certain monthly fee for his noble service.  He would arrive on his bicycle, usually after 7 pm on his way back to his house from the market place or somewhere as our house was on his way to his Jayanagar home.  His arrival was announced "Maeshtru bandidaaray". Maeshtru=Teacher.  He was always costumed in a white collarless-full sleeved, cuffless long shirt and a full white loincloth [panchay]. Sometimes a 'valli' adorned the neck.

The instruments were kept safely in the room, one in a large box and one above it, covered with cloth.  Only two were in regular use. After he came, they were taken out and kept on the mats. They would sit facing each other.  The string tensions were checked for shruti before they started lessons, may be after a silent prayer.

I sometimes went to the room, when I heard my favourite 'keerthanas' being taught.  They attracted me.  I would lean my back against the pile of rolled up beds and listen for a short while and then run away for play.  I think they both played one old lesson and one new in each class.  Sometimes, they repeated the old one many times until MJS felt satisfied with the perfection she attained.  I observed he was a perfectionist.  He would repeat and show many times till she perfected.  He would also sing in his typically deep voice and demonstrate the tune [raaga].   After the new lesson, he would write in the book for her practice like this:

They are MJS's notes from 1979. There are many volumes bound together, serially.  Probably he was teaching from 1962, going by the handwriting and dates written in earlier notes.

I do not remember how much fees he was given, but I clearly remember the manner in which he used to ask before due date. I can never forget his sheepish look.  He did this when about to leave and usually ready with his bicycle!  Sometimes he used to ask as soon as the lesson was over.  I can only make a wild guess [1970s] that it could be about fifty rupees which was not very high even going by his reputation and expertise. Those were still the 'good days' and he was in his late 40s and one can understand the needs of running his family at that stage. Musicians lived mostly on such income from teaching. 

I cannot recall when she stopped his tutions.  May be he left for Bangalore in the 1980s, I remember not, clearly. My aunt was also a veteran by then with a vast experience.  She became a tutor to young students since about 1970.  She was passing on the knowledge even till a fortnight before she died aged just 54, in 1989.  Her end was sudden and premature. The following picture is of a diary in which she recorded the fees collected from her pupils.  

The last entry is just 15 days before she breathed her last. Twenty five rupess/month was a very nominal fee considering that other teachers at the same time were collecting up to one hundred a month.  She was not after money.  Music and Veena were her passions and she pursued it to her heart's joy.  

There is no photograph of her with the Veena except for this one, when she gave a group performance at Rotary Club around 1980. Extreme left. Extreme right is Mrs. Lalitha Sitaram [Sitaraghava Vaidyashala].

After her demise, we had come to know that her close friend Vatsala had a tape containing the recording of her Veena.  She lived in Bangalore and we searched for her house and finally collected it, copied it and returned through a relative.  She too is no more now. So, this is the only recording I have of her.  In the tape, a dozen of her most and my favourite 'keerthanas' are played. She had recorded them with the new 'radio-cassette-player' for Vatsala.  It is so pleasing esp. to listen to 'Raghuvamsha Sudha', 'PraNamaamyaham' and 'Bhaavayaami Raghuraamam'.  One more was 'Marugelara', which is not in it.  May be one day soon, I will find a way to upload the music from that cassette tape and add it here.
I am coming back to add this widget, thanks to my friend Krishna Rao who helped digitize the audio from the cassette: Now you can listen to five minutes of Bhaavayaami Raghuraamam.... played by Gowramma.

I was fond of listening to Chittibabu's concerts and looked forward to the 'koel number' [kooOooo] and at its climax, he would show his creative skills and stunts. The classicists did not favour his style, but then he was unique! MJS and my aunt at times used to discuss the various styles of different artistes. 

Only recently, I came to know that MJS was a direct pupil of the renown Veena Venkatagiriyappa, who was a Royal Musician in the Mysore Palace.  It is such a pleasant feeling to know that my aunt was in that line through MJS.  MJS did, because music was his profession also.  But for some reason not known to me, never went to give concerts, like many of her contemporaries did.  Later, MJS moved to Bangalore and with that ended his visit to our house.  His services to music as a Veena player was by then well established.  He was already a top grade artiste with All India Radio.  He fully deserved all those prestigious awards he was later bestowed upon.  He now had a name of his own.

Here is an interview that is available on the web:
In the interview MJS mentions that he played the Veena in the Mysore style!

Now, this is the third Veena.

My daughter is posing but not playing.  The smallness of the Veena can be observed here.  This picture was taken before we gave it away to another good friend.  We are happy to learn that it is being used regularly now.

This Veena is also said to be Chitra's.  It was probably made to order in small size to suit children.  It produces very melodious vibrations [naada].  I sometimes played one line of 'lambodara lakumikara' after 'sa-ri-ga-ma-pa-da-ni-sa'.  That is all I had learnt from watching.  Both MJS and my aunt wanted me to learn, but it never happened probably because Music did not run, as fast as Sport in the family.  Yet, I have 'an ear for music'.  After all, 'music is the language of the soul.  

Long live, MJS.