It was March’78.
And one fine morning at Arcot, Shankar’s brother ( my another cousin, Ram kumar), came flying in his bicycle with a postal envelop in his hand.
He was so excited that he was practically yelling at me that “you both better go to Madras now itself”.
I could not make out head or tail from what he was trying to say!
But when he handed over the letter and I opened the letter, I was absolutely stunned!
It was a 3 page letter, the letter from IR, dt 16-Mar-78, self written in his beautiful hand writing! Shell shocked I was !
I never knew what was the content of the letter sent by Shankar;
but now I was reading IR’s point by point replies to that letter !
(for the actual letter, click here )
(for translation, click here)
(Though much later, I could make it out that this may be Shankar’s work and could guess the likely queries/ observations he would have made in the letter, sequel to our internal discussions at various point of time on IR’s music ! )
Anyhow, It was the treasure in our hand!
Shankar was forced to come on that week-end holidays, just to show this letter !
The letter was read and read and read and……!
How many times we were reading that letter repeatedly, I could not count !
Again I want to reiterate that we were simply ordinary fans who could just appreciate the song for the song that’s all !
We never had extra technical knowledge on music nor we contemplated to acquire such knowledge and experience !
So the queries were staright from our heart and IR has equally reciprocated to his ordinary fans!
It was such an elaborate reply, point-by-point, showing all kinds of his feelings, straight from his heart; just like talking to his fans !
The firmness, politeness, disappointment, laughing at our ignorance, patience to explain, his strategic thinking, etc etc !
All the emotions and feelings he wanted to convey got permanently registered in our mind for ever!
These are still valid for even today's situations!
From that day onwards, we simply became his worshippers!
Then onwards, He started living in our mind and heart! Forever!
Then onwards, any song of him reminded a face very close to our heart !
Any song of him, reminded us the sincerity and hard work he expressed in his letter !
Every song reminded us about the innovations he was trying to incorporate and tried to reach the common people like us !
Every time certain songs were not appreciated for the innovative contents of it, We could visulalise the agony which IR may be having !
We could not believe even today, somebody of IR’s stature and calibre, (at that period, though new, he was the most sought after MD of TFM), can still say that “I am not having the qualification to become your Guru in this life!"
That's IR !