During that summer vacation of 1976, we decided to go for Ooty (my Chithi’s place) alongwith Shankar.
Though all the usual stuff of Ooty like sight seeing and films etc were carried out with our limited resources, the flower show (82nd show) of botanical garden was the targeted attraction for Shankar as he had found out from various posters in the town, that IR with his Orchestra was going to perform on that day !
As usual I was indifferent towards his enthusiasm, as any kind of musical orchestra would have satisfied me !
The D-day came ! There was heavy rush when we reached the Venue and we had to sit in the lawn very far away from the podium. Still we could see the members of orchestra reasonably clear !
That’s our first “darisanam” of IR, the youth, who was swaying the TN to his tunes of Annakili and Badrakali!
The program started with “Devan Thiruchabai Malargale” with Poorani & Indira (who were performing a lot of other songs also) ! I don’t remember the main female singers and only could guess now, the name of Sasirekha . Male voices were represented by Gangai Amaran, Sai Baba, Malasia Vasudevan and of course IR himself. As could have been guessed, IR’s songs were limited at that time and mostly the songs of MSV, KVM etc were performed by them.
IR was all the times at his Synth on the front right corner of the stage, and performing flawlessly all those pieces. I could recollect my tension moments in watching him singing “Poo vizhi vasalil” from Deepam. Tension because, he was so much concentrating on playing the synth, that I sincerely believed he was going to miss his portion of the song. But to my astonishment, he was picking the microphone on his side exactly on time and moving the same nearer to his mouth and let the Jesudas lines out , in micro second precision and again back to his synth very seriously !
It was a treat to watch ! That was the first time I heard his personal voice !