Shri K.S. Mahadevan had a non-spotlight approach that led to more afterglow that success in his face. He believed in George Bernard shaw’s famous saying: “Just do what must be done. It may not happiness, but it is greatness”.
In his own, humble and self-designed way, shri K.S. Mahadevan led a life that gave other people more than what he got out of it.
We believe these jottings, comments of people whose lives he touched and the many writings attached here would allow us others to reminiscesuncerely about a great unsung man.
“There is no greater strength than enthusiasm. There is nothing which is not attainable in this world for the enthusiastic Lakshmana to Lord Rama (as told by Sage Valmiki).
Shri KS Mahadevan (KSM or KSM mama, as he was fondly known to people), would have been 100 years old, if was alive today. It is a great privilege for us to be able to present the many facets of this unique individual, who, for over 60 years, crafted, developed, nurtured and engaged in a special enthusiastic bond with the music and dance community. Ironically, though KSM was a prolific and articulate writer himself, it does not seem facile to capture the true essence of the person with mere words. Nonetheless, with warm and spontaneous support from several stalwarts of the music and dance field, members of the KSM family have put together a synoptic marrative about KSM, a pocket biography, if you ill. The KSM family wishes to acknowledge sincerely the contributions of the several musicians, dancers, people from the music and dance world and family members.
KSM, as we would refer to him here, seamlessly between his personal life and his professional avatar (it is not an easy task to find all-encompassing term to describe it).His was a life largely founded on simplicity, search for renewal, eternal optimism, ability beyond the daily shackles and create new experiences, ability to transcend ‘self mindset, readiness to help others and above all, humility and almost a deep aversion for attention. He saw life as an experience to assimilate, enjoy and engage in, and not as a race to win. His genius was not of the flashy variety, but lay in subtly balancing common gifts. He endeavoured to create opportunities for himself to partake in it. Rather than waiting for equanimity, generosity, compassion and embodied the spirits of endurance and refinement. KSM, it would seem, was one the truest Renaissance man, cut from a fine priceless cloth.
The KSM family is deeply indebted to the several musicians, dancers and others who responded to our call to share their experiences with him. Even though independently written by them, one can observe several common threads to the artistes’ encomiums, bringing out the full prism of the person that KSM was. These versions are also carried in this book under “Part 2”
It is 4.30 PM- the time that KSM eagerly looks forward to for his appointment with the outside world. He has just finished an impromptu conversation with a visitor at home, who has dropped by without prior intimation. KSM changes into his simple dhoti and a ‘kadi’ shirt (his trademark dress for the most part his retired life), makes a couple of quick phone calls, his quota of ‘kafi’ and gets ready to leave home, almost inconspicuously.
The next 5 hours were his busiest time of the day. They usually consisted of a series of stops-a short visit to a friend either to look him up as he convalesces from illness or to have a short chat on some ideas on music that crossed his mind that day followed by an early evening concert of a budding youngster (it could be anywhere in the radius of 2 KM from Luz corner in Mylapore and KSM would almost certainly walk it) and then possibly another concert by a senior in the main slot, most likely at another venue. Come 9.00 PM, KSM would head back home, often courtesy of a friend he met at the concert. In this passage of the evening he would have talked to maybe 20 people, arranged new meetings for the rest of the week or arranged to send or receive interesting writing on music or dance, made his notes for the concert critique, blessed some budding boy or girl and pressed subtly his recommendations for youngster with the sabha management. On the way back home, KSM would let himself be dropped quarter of a mile from home, so that he could use a short walk as exercise (needless though!) for his body and simultaneously, summarise his thoughts and experiences for the day!
It would be a safe comments to say that KSM followed this routine for about 25 years, every day (unlesshe was indisposed) and never got tired of it. In fact, this was his brain food and supplied the daily dose of adrenalin and perhaps even oxygen.
North Indian Music (285)
Original Texts (60)
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