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Ramarao V. Naik
Issue : 138
Published on : March, 1996


Ramrao V. Naik - Profile

Main Feature

Profile - Ramarao V Nai

Ramarao is a much revered figure and perhaps the oldest living exponent of Hindustani music representing the Agra gharana. The suffix Naik in his name has significance in Hindustani music, at least it had in the old durbari times. Musicians were graded like Kalavant, Guni, Ramarao Naik and Gandharv, according to the quality of their music and Naik topped them. But, in the case of Ramarao, this appendage to his name has no relation to music. It is inherited and represents the fields in which his forebears were active- military and jewellery. His father Venkaji Naik held the rank of a naik in the military, whereas his grandfather Srinivasa Naik was a jeweller. Hailing as he does from such a family, it is an interesting saga how Ramarao switched over to music and attained pre-eminence in it.

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Special Feature

Sankara Menon - Profile

Sankara Menon's knowledge of the Gita, the Upanishads and the epics was deep. Many of us were fortunate to benefit from his lectures on these. Not too long ago, a former student, now a grandfather, reminisced to me about Menon's Gita classes and even quoted his explanations of a few verses. When Sankara Menon lived for many years in the Theosophical Society, he used to take a brisk morning walk daily in its estate, and often I used to join him as I could learn much about nature, etc., from him. He was like a father to me. I stopped my participation in the walk when another old student, who was given to small talk, joined us. When I queried Sankara Menon about his tolerating such small talk, his answer made me feel small, as he said: Poor fellow, he likes walking with me and so I let him. If there is small talk, why give it importance? Nature all around compensates for it!" He only saw the better side in everyone and wished the best for all. If anyone should be named ajatasatru-- one who has no enemies- he deserved it. To cite an instance, a person caused Kalakshetra and him much trouble and made Sankara Menon spend much
time in the courts of law.

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