One of the largest democracies of the world-India that is Bharath- my Holy Mother land had a galaxy of great FIRST CITIZENS right from the time we won freedom under the noble leadership of our Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.
- HE Babu Rajendra Prasad 1950 to 1962
- HE Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan 1962-1967
- HE Zakir Hussain 1967-1969
- HE V. V. Giri 5/1969 to 8/1974
- HE Fakruddin Ali Ahamed 1974- 1977
- HE B D Jatti 2/1977 – 7/1977
- He Sanjeeva Reddy 1977- 1982
- HE Sardar Zail Singh 1982-1987
- HE R. Venkataraman 1987- 1992
- HE Shankar Dayal Sharma 1992- 1997
11.HE K R Narayanan 1997-2002
- HE Dr. APJ ABDUL KALAM 2002- 2007
- HE Prathiba Patil 2007-2012
- HE Pranab Mukherjee 2012 – 2017
Each one was great in his own way and the whole world acknowledged with great respect not only because he/she was Indian President but for their intrinsic worth.
One of them Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam though came of a humble origin and means rose to the level of the President of India was born on this day in the year 1931- 86 years ago in the South of India and brought glory as a great Space Scientist and the First Citizen of India!
The other finer side of his greatness besides as a Scientist, is that he was a secularist, Universalist, lover of fine arts and music, a nice veena player!
With my personal experience I recollect and share with you though already done a couple of years ago.
A lover of Karnatic music Kalam loved
My Tamil translation of Thyagayya’s gems five proud
Listened personally sung by great artists at night
Ten at Madurai at the artists’ humble home- a delight!
A noble first citizen of Bharath – our homeland
Moved so freely with all in simple style- made wonderland
Lives ever in the minds of all- on that great day
We pay our respects to him in all humility this day.
Yes; I had the opportunity of translating the five gems of keerthanas on the Lord Rama – of Thyagabrammam of Thiruvaiyaru at the instance of a learned scholar on visishtadwaitha of Kanchi Mutt, Tanilnadu- infact our first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurating Thyagabranha Adadhana in Thiruvaiyaru in the year 1963 expressed his desire that such great keerthanas of the Saint composer in Telugu must be translated into other Indian languages for the entire nation to get benefit!
My translation of the same into Tamil and rendered by One of the leading Karnatic music vocalists- Smt. Ranganayaki of Madurai accompanied by her husband Sachidanandam on violin and Dr. K Thyagarajan on Mridangam and brought out in the form of CD reached Dr. Kalam through a common friend. Dr. Kalam greatly delighted at the translation and rendition wanted to hear the songs sung in person and on 13th Februaru 2015, he sent word to the musicians in Madurai that he will be visiting their home on that night to listen in person to the Pancha rathna keerthanas!
“ It was on that day former President of India His Excellency Dr. Abdul Kalam visited a humble musician couple living in Madurai to personally hear the great Pancharathna Keerthanas of Thiruvaiyru Thiyagaraja swamigal – Thyagabrammam-in Telugu translated into Tamil from the lips of the karnatic musician accompanied by her husband in violin and a co-musician in Mridhangam.
Dr. Kalam has already heard the renderings in Tamil through the CD which he came across through a common friend. He said that he was so impressed by the translation and the rendition that he used to hear one gem each day. Now utilizing his visit to Madurai he wanted to hear right from the troupe directly! Of course the musicians who with great efforts brought out the CD were making efforts to render the Keerthanas in the presence of the former President who loves Karnatic music, our culture, our traditions, our literature et all with all his heart.
After fulfilling a few engagements in the city of Madurai, he planned to visit the musicians in the night and accordingly he arrived at their humble residence at 9.30 in the night and spent an hour. The musicians were in an ecstatic mood and delighted to have a great and noble personality in their humble residence. As the public saw the former President’s convoy entered the street, there was a big surge to have a glance of Dr. kalam who indeed is “காட்சிக்கு எளியவன், கடுஞ்சொல்லன் அல்லன்” எனவே சிறந்த ஆட்சியாளனாக விளங்கியவர், உலகமே வியந்து பாராட்டப்பட்டவர்.
As Dr. kalam arrived he was received with a shawl and the team that rendered the “five gems” of the Saint composer was duly introduced. As he was eager to hear the melodious rendering of “ENTHARO MAHANUBAVULU”- “எத்தனையோ மகான்கள் அத்தனை பேருக்கும் வந்தனம்” it was rendered by the team-vocal accompanied by violin and mridhangam. The prestigious guest heard the rendering with great attention and his body language expressed it all- he was so enthralled with the translation and the rendering. Then he openly appreciated the artists profusely and said the translation was ideal. For decades he has been hearing this ‘keerthana’ without understanding the full meaning and import of the song. He enquired about the person who translated the ‘keerthanas’ and he was shown the profile of the translator and Dr. kalam read it with great joy. He requested the artists to convey his appreciation and compliments to the translator.”
Yes, it was a great day for the musical party, -‘a day never to be got in life ‘!
Such was the type of a man was Dr. Abdul Kalam whose birth day is today 15th October.
And hence this Sunday Story!
The Saint Composer Thyagayya.
From left to right: Sachidanandam-Violinist, Ranfganayaki vocalist, Dr. Thiyagarajan Mridangist, DR> A P J ABDUL KALAM being offered a shawl
ENVIUS THOUGHTS crosses 1,11,000 views.
I am glad to share with you that with the 121st view at 22.30 hours yesterday viz Saturday the 14th October 2017, total views of ENVIUS THOUGHTS crossed ONE LAKH AND ELEVEN THOUSAND (1,11,000) from more than 210 countries around the world on the 939th day and 1006th post, thanks to your support and encouragement. Kindly continue. Thanks aplenty.