The demise of my Guru Sri Lalgudi Sir is an irreplaceable loss to the world of music and a tremendous personal loss to me. He was a true nada yogi who lived and breathed music without being swayed by commercial considerations. His role and contributions as a soloist and accompanying violinist have been truly path-breaking. He epitomized the seamless integration of melody, rhythm and bhava. His compositions bear the unmistakable stamp of a creative genius.

As a Guru, he loved and treated each student as his own child and his teaching sessions normally would comprise a minimum of 2-3 hours of intense, rigorous training. He meticulously notated each song that he taught and ensured that his students received exemplary training in both the kalpita (pre-composed) and kalpana (creative) aspects of Carnatic music. He would listen to our concert recordings and give detailed, constructive feedback. His classes were lively, packed with energy and challenges.

His respect for others’ time continues to amaze me – he would not keep even his youngest student waiting and would be ready for class well before the student’s arrival. His interests were wide spread and he would strive to be on top of current affairs and the latest scientific breakthroughs. He possessed great intellectual curiosity and enjoyed listening to other genres of music too. Being his student from a young age has influenced me multifold and has helped me not only in my musical journey, but also in my academics and in shaping my perspectives on life. Lalgudi mama’s vision, depth of knowledge, ability to articulate his thoughts and ideas in a succinct and lucid manner, creative energy and above all, his simplicity and humility are all values that will inspire us in the years to come.

Lalgudi Sir took great pride in the achievements of his students. He would often introduce me to visitors in a voice bubbling with excitement: “This is my student Vidya, she is a CA topper and holds an MBA from the USA but has chosen to pursue music full time!” I can never forget the gleam of excitement in his eyes whenever he had an interesting thought or idea, or his spontaneous appreciation for good music.

(Vidya Subramanian a noted carnatic singer took lessons from the renowned maestro Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman. She is known for her various Manodrama (creative) aspects  such as Ragam Tannam Pallavi, Neraval, Alapana and Kalpana Swarams.)