Today I read the news about Prof Ramarathnam‘s demise on 15th November 2008. He was almost 91.

It was a co-incidence that I was reading his autobiography around that time.

I never had the opportunity of listening to a concert of Sri Ramarathnam live. I have heard him on the radio, or other recordings. However, he was definitely a very strong influence in shaping my musical interests.

His “Sangeetha Darpana” was the first book I read about the theory of Indian music way back in my middle school days. Perhaps I did not understand everything the book discussed at that time, but that made a good beginning. I read, re-read and re-read this book till I got hooked to reading and understanding the ‘lakshaNa’ or theory of music. Later on, I have read several of his books, some of which were co-authored by Dr Sampathkumaracharya. Because of this, I am definitely indebted to  Prof. Ramarathnam.

About 10 years ago, I had the good chance of meeting and speaking with Prof Ramarathnam when he and my mother were honored at a temple in Sunnyvale, CA.

May his soul rest in peace.

-neelanjana