Monday, February 1, 2016

My friend,  SKS Mani  – A legend , icon and lode star – in the firmament of Indian Arts especially Tamil theatre in Delhi and its ramifications !

It is rather difficult for me to write about him in a few lines. I have known him since the 1960s. First time I met Mani in Delhi when I performed with my Guruji  Padmabhushan  Late Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar at the  Delhi Karnataka Sangeetha Sabha. At that time I was overwhelmed  by the aura and positive energy which surrounded him wherever he was.  Whenever we met time stood still. He was always there for all help and assistance at Delhi. He was friendly and cordial with all Musicians of Chennai. Sri Mani is a bundle of pleasant contradictions. – very  chaste in his tastes and perceptions , he could dress in a totally flamboyant outfits and look naturally too ! The all encompassing smile of his is infectious! He is always there on the dot as a friend in need – as I have known first hand. I do not have to say much about his acting prowess and other creative abilities as the entire  pinnacle of our culture extole his virtues wherever I turn !

He literally lives and breathes whatever role he is assigned – created many plays, players and concepts in the realm of modern Indian cultural scene. Whenever I read about  any internationally  well known cultural icon, I think  of  S.K.S.Mani. I am ecstatic that I know somebody who is all that and some more. Mani’s rasanai – is quite unique -- he could rave about the best in classical arts and extend that rave to the most avant-garde and unconventional artistic freak provided he or she had something to say or do! Now, he has ventured into a new arena as Bharati Mani and I am really happy to know that his first Book Pala Nerangalil Pala Manidhargal  is being published by the Uyirmmai Padhippagam.

In my early days in Chennai in the 1950s , I had the opportunity to  interact with the literary luminaries and artists like Jayakanthan ,  Na. Muthuswamy of Koothupatrai and other greats like Ka.Naa.  Subramanyam, Indira Parthsarathy  and later the present-day super stars like   ,Sri.M.S.Viswanathan , Sri. M.B.Sreenivos,  my disciple Sri Ilaiyaraja, Sri. Panju  Arunacahalam , Sri.Vaali,  Sri. Kamal Hassan, Sri. Rajnikanth, Sri.B.Lenin  and many others who have influenced the world of Fine Arts especially  the audio visual media through their writings, speeches and creative contributions – Sri.S.K.S Mani is one of those  super  person  but too modest to admit!

My best  wishes are always there !

Musicologist Guruji.Dr.T.V.Gopalakrishnan.


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