K.P. KITTAPPA PILLAI - A true sangeetagna

As I stand in front of the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord of the Universe, at the Brihadeeswara temple, Kittappa Pillai’s words “Neenga poyi Avarai paarthuttu vaanga” (Go have darsan of Him and come) ring in my ears. Those were probably the last words the great natyacharya uttered before he slipped into his final moments before joining his illustrious ancestors – the Tanjavur Quartet on the following day – 30 October 1999. I was fortunate to have worked closely with him in the two-and-a-half years before his death, on a book of rare compositions in the Tanjavur repertoire of Bharatanatyam. It was a very emotional experience for me to have been present during the last few hours of Tanjavur K.P. Kittappa Pillai.