While settling at PWD, Palacode, I could realize that I can not settle there for a long time!
The discomforts of a government job, particularly like PWD, are obvious, and thus my struggle to shift from the job started in full swing.
This necessitated a lot of applications and writing exams of various companies, public sector and central government organization etc.
This made me a frequent visitor to Bangalore and of course to Chennai also as these were standard exam centres located South. In the last quarter of 1983 and the next year, this process continued
Chennai visits had in fact a hidden agenda, and no marks to guess that !
Yes, Chennai visit means darshan of IR, and all exams, interviews are secondary. (Now, you can conclude, why I was going on writing exams without success for more than 2 years ! I had to !)
This second series of visits during 1983 & 84 were characteristically, totally different from my first visit of 1978 ! For obvious reasons, of course !
While my memory fails to recollect exact sequence of happenings, date and time etc. I am having a collage of colorful memories overlapping with each other.
But certain things were common in all these visits!
First and foremost thing is, I could never had a free one-to-one discussion at all with him, even though I might have spent hours in the recording hall and in the console room!
It’s totally a divine experience, which makes you dumb! May be like Kamal in film Guna ?!
Its usually the night bus to Chennai from Dharmapuri. With a lot of expectations of next day which may be in store for you, and the usual discomforts of night bus journey, you can't have the sleep!
By morning 4-30, with sleepy, burning eyes, you are in Broadway, Ratan Bazar bus stop. You wait for nearly one hour for the first town bus and reach T-Nagar by 5-45 or so.
Get freshen up and have coffee (breakfast will not be ready by that time !) in the hotel near that Nalli shop (old one).
Walk with bag and tension, reach the address 157- North Usman Road by 6 to 6-15 AM. (Later this address was changed 152-North Usman Road and then subsequently shifted to 38-Murugesa Mudali street, if I remember correct).
By that time, your heart beat would have reached the highest peak, with the doubt whether you will be allowed to enter or not!
With derived courage, you force into the gate, and reach the corridor of the bungalow where the car gets parked and getting ready. You explain to those assistants etc, if encountered, who look you with all sort of question marks and verify your purpose of visit etc, tell them that you have come to see him from such and such place etc. Sometimes you have to convince them that you had earlier appointments fixed etc.
You are allowed to sit in some chairs provided in the front hall, where similar other guests, some aspirant singers, instrumentalists also wait!
It’s totally like a pooja room, with utmost silence and the smell of flowers and Agarbathis giving you a different feeling! Not less than a early morning temple atmosphere !
Before 6-30 or so, all of a flash, IR just walks out with a smile, in his white kurtha-dhothi, and if known persons are there, a customary smile and a few sentences exchanged, and straight away he gets into his car and vanishes!
This was a routine. But at the first time visit, I didn't know this, rather never imagined such vigorous system will be there!
After so many years of gap, when I first met him, I had a lot of expectations to introduce myself reminding the old connections etc and wish to talk to him, this and that etc!
Because, I still used to live with my old memories of IR of 1978 period, who took us in his car, had hours of time together etc.
Moreover, in the absence of any such knowledge on daily routines etc I could not have imagined a new and trasnformed IR, till such time I myself experienced that !
So, first time, even before I could properly introduce myself to him, he was just moving away.
With sense of fear of losing him, I just again running towards him and told that I want to see his recordings.
He just told that I can come to the studio and just got into the car and left the scene!
I was totally upset and whole world seemed crashing before me! Whole dreams shattered and vanished in moments!
So what next ?