Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer
The year was 1940, and I was a student in Madanapalle. My brother and I used to frequent the Municipal Office to listen to concerts broadcast by AIR-Madras. On one occasion we went to listen to Chembai, but just as the programme started one of our professors landed there and asked the Municipal Clerk to change over to Tiruchi station where Semmangudi's concert was on the air.
We could not very well overrule our professor—and that was my initiation to the music of Semmangudi. Subsequently we got to listen to many of his radio concerts, besides a few discs: and he became one of our favourites, ranked along with Chittoor Subramania Pillai, B.S. Raja Iyengar, Veena Dhanammal and of course Chembai.
Decades later while in Railway service I went to Baroda (Vadodara now) Staff College in 1971 to attend a reorientation course. I met Kasi Iyer, one of our lecturers, and his wife, who happened to be Semmangudi's daughter. Since we were to go to the ICF centre in Chennai after completion of the Baroda programme, she gave me a message and a few articles to be delivered to her father.
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