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DKP - a pure Kanchi pattu
Vocalist Chong Chiu Sen (Sai Madhana Mohan Kumar) pays his tribute to D.K. Pattammal, whose centenary celebrations have just got under way with the Vice-President, Mr. Venkaiah Naidu, formally presiding over an inaugural function in Chennai on March 17, 2018.

D.K. Pattammal is not merely a musician. She is music itself. I am so fortunate and blessed to have learnt music from her with her divine guidance. Pattammal had a very classical way of singing without any frills. Yet, her music was full of depth. They were technically intricate but she handled them with ease. She was simple and yet a perfectionist. Meeting her daily was like visiting a temple where the Goddess Herself was awaiting your arrival to bestow upon you her blessings, and, in this form, musical knowledge.

Whenever I visited her, I saw Pattammal sitting on a chair with students sitting on the floor around her.She would be teaching them. So, you would always see the guru in her. She looked like a majestic and simple queen. She was very affectionate and easily approachable. She was very open to people. She was a woman of great warmth, and used to speak in a measured and slow tone. Even her public speeches were very simple. In her speeches, she used to bless everyone. And, she was a simple and kind hearted personality!

She represented the old dignity of a family woman. There was this old world charm about her. Her smile pulled me into the world of Carnatic music. Her trust is the swaras I am singing today.

She was so full of love. When she accepted me as her god grandson, I believed that everything that I had ever gone through and every hardship that I under went led to that beautiful moment. Her music is beyond description. One has to close one's eyes to feel the bliss and the authenticity of Carnatic music. She was the pure Kanchi pattu. She was the Veena itself. She was the very sound of music. One would always see the guru Pattammal.

The three legends or the three Devis of an era were M. S. Subbulakshmi, D. K. Pattammal and M. L. Vasantha Kumari. Sadly, all three are gone. They were real trail-blazers. Vasantha Kumari was the youngest but died first. The era of high classicism among female singers is over with Pattammal's death. I am fortunate that I knew her. I am very happy that I lived at a time when the three Devis lived. To me, Pattammal was more than a guru or a god grandmother. And, she is the Devi who resides within me.

Aum Gaana Sarasvathyai Namaha.