A few days back when I was teaching my daughter to sing fundamental Swara exercises, I suddenly remembered having maintained a notebook of such exercises as a student, when I was undergoing lessons in violin from none other than Lalgudi Sri.Jayaraman !
With so much excitement I took the book and started reading it page after page(I still remember- it was only then that I had started using a fountain pen and hence was very excited about writing on each page with a pen :-)).
Now for a brief description of those memorable days:
I was very fortunate to have had foundation lessons in violin playing from the maestro.
We were living inside the IIT Campus and I used to take a PTC bus( Bus 5B)from IIT to T.Nagar. We were always supposed to play only with our own violins, so I used to carry it with great care for each class !
Class sessions not only included playing, but also sitting postures, holding the violin and the bow properly, proper facial expressions during playing and so on ! I used to shake like a leaf standing in front of him ! He always used to pose small riddles and mathematical puzzles and would expect immediate and accurate answers ! I continued lessons with Shri.Nagarajan (disciple of Lalgudi Mama) and once in two weeks, I had to play all the lessons in front of Lalgudi Mama !
These classes were an experience by itself !
After a few years, Lalgudi Mama directed me to Smt.T.Rukmini, saying that this would be more convenient for me, as I would not have to travel long distances for each class. He also added that he suggested this mainly because hers was the same style of playing as his.
Classes with Mami were always so nice ! Mami would first teach me to sing the song and then play the same on the violin. I still remember- before each class, whenever I entered her house, she would ask, "Ippo dhane school poittu vandhiruppa nee, tiffin edhavadhu saaptiyaa?" In case I said No, she would first force me to eat something and only then start class ! So much caring Mami would always be!
Well, these were the sweet memories which I recollected as I went through my Swara Exercises book !! With a smile I told all these to my daughter and resumed my classes for her.