About the Author
Author Sri N. Rajagopalan is a vivacious product of the cultural and intellectual gifts extended benignly by the illustrious Chol belt, the deltaic tract of holy Mother Cauvery. Born at Aduthral on the festive day of Day of Deepavali in an enlightened family, he belonged to Mandhai, a charming village encircled by foremost musical and dramatic centres such as Konerirajapuram, Thiruzhimizhalai, Mudicondan, Tiruppampuram, Keeranur, komal, gudalur and many other, not to forget or ignore unforgettable idyllic musical centres like Semmangudi, Thiruvisainallur, Thiruvaduthrai, Thiruvidaimarudur, Thirunageswaram and other. In Mandhai there would be annual dramas enacted by professionals dedicated to the Lord seeking permission to take up transplantation of kuruvai, short-term paddy crop, being p[art of a vast, enlightened paddy belt from before Ramyana days. As the river moves in immaculate curves as if giving lessons to dancers, the cultural attribute of danceing has not refrained from adorning the river, hailed as Natana Cauvery, ever as the Origin of Natya is the charming Lord Nataraja. There would be monthly bhajans, though modernity had swallowed the pleased and devout practice in hundreds of places suring the last two decades. My father Naganatha Sastri was a scholar of high repute widely respected and was a strict disciplinarian. My charming mother Lakshmi @ Chellammal was a musical soul and her inspiringmusic that one yearns to remain eternally a baby enjoying her lullabies.
In the Higher Ele. School, T. Pazhur [TRI Dt] in with I studied, them in the care of my fond uncle, in a special drama arranged by it, I took on the role on the role of heroine and won the only madal and that in silver! Shifted for studies to Madras, I took on the role of a lady in the drama enacted at Walltax Theatre near Central Station, the prime theatre then dramas. It was enacted by top dramatists, P.S. Velu Nair, P.S. Velammal and Not Annaji Rao. In two major dramas, I acted as the prime heroine and hero and in subsidiary roles in a few others! Details are my book, A Garland of Glimpses & Gleanings. Pray browse through It. Acting for dedication Art and for the glitter of Silver or gold!!
The hidden urge in me to be an inspired dramatist was so obsessive that it egged me on to approach the famous, flouring Gemini Studios. The eminent Kothamangalan Subbu was there, he affably advised me to complete studies first and then come up. [It one of the swelling tribe of 2G, CWG, Sand, Cement, Coal, Granite enclave had been there, I would have been summarily dragged in, blessed to be an eternal slave to them, not the Art!] Though nowhere near me, internationally reputed and lauded Maths genius KMU Ramanujan while young faced good Subbu, he faced the good Chettiar. So advice was simiar, robust and noble. Bharat is surely left with such people now, even if it be in reduced minority! Please read the chapter on winsome K.B. Sundarmbal, whose godly Soul stands mauled and Victimzed deeply by trio.
Fortunately, my murmuring a song casually for self joy, caught the attention of the eminent Sangita Kalanidhi Papanasam Sivan and I became his sishya in Classical Carnatic music instantaneously, When he left on musical expedition, it stopped. I revived my tuitions in music later in two other under senior teachers. There it ended.
In the discharge of duties in 'Land, Prohibition, Religion, Civil Supplies, Settlement and other departments', my only outlook and efficient thrust was for the good and the efficient, the ideal and the productive. I Was sincere, dedicated, affiant and productive to the government and beneficial to the public. I was not guilty of a betel nut! My superiors were great. So far ten volumes in the Garland series of books and over 220 articles in respected journais have been published. I am indebted to my pareriors, colleagues and friends for the guidance and kindness I had received. During those distant days of sacrifice for the nation, I had attended the meetings of Gandhiji, Subhash Chandra Boseji, Rajendra Prasadji, Rajaji, Satyamurtiji, Kamarajji and other truly great patriots. I had walked with Vinobha Bhaveji and absorbed and assimilated the noble orations of good leaders. Thankfully to great Bharata Matha, I had hoisted the National on the Independent Day as District Collector.
It is my good fortune to back in the genial warmth of my revered friend, Shri 'Garland' Rajagopalan. Unfailingly he would grace every function of Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts & Sangeetha Sabha in Numbai when invited and add to the lustre of the programme by his scholarly address. There is joy as well as sorrow in providing a preface to his book, "The Goodbye Garland". The joy that even at his advanced age,yet another 'Garland' is seening the light of the day, but sad that it happens to be "The Goodbye Garland". The incandescent brilliance of Rajagopalan has penetrated into our inner most being that his scholarship in music and Indian Culture has become a part and parcel of our daily experience and we revere it through silence which is more eloquent than any sermon.
Yet it pains that his contribution to Indian Classical Music has not triggered the Government of India to consider him for 'Padma Awards'. That does not make any difference to him. The greatest award is from his Rasikas who have cherished his several 'Garlands' which he has presented to them for proper appreciation and understanding of the enduring glory of Indian Arts and Culture. All his publications are, indeed, the work which Government and Universities should have taken up but they fell on the shoulders of this virtuous Civil Servant to do distinction.
The freshness of his language makes easy understanding. Rajagopalan gives an original interpretation to several musical thoughts and has brought out new dimensions to the lives and achievements of Maha Vidwans and Vidusshis, in tune with the spirit of the time and makes a fervent plea for a new orientation to our concepts of duties and our discovery of Truth.
The First Volume in the Series, 'A Garland Carried With It The Blessings of H.H. Sri Maha Swamigal of Kanchi. That helped the flowering of successive 'Garlands' of ever-fragrance in quick succession. As Rajagopalan avers, 'Age has taken its toll on me, but the fond desire to bring out something new decilnest to bid goodbye and depart!" I am sure that the Sage of his Age, an incarnation of God, would shower His choicest blessings on Rajagopalan with a century of bliss so that a series of successive 'Goodbye Garlands' would come to enlighten and elevate us.
Shri N. Rajagopalan's latest book, 'Goodbye Garland' is an ideal challengeto the reader. The higher the understanding of one is, deeper can he appreciate the author's ideals, his lifelong love for Music, Arts and Culture of Bharat. These seeds sown in the depth of his Soul when he was a very young boy have wonderfully flowered and sustained him throughout his life and career in Government in various roles as an IAS Officer. His idea of relating some of his experiences in the third person is novel. It renders the presentation biographical rather than autobiographical , thus providing him with better narrative freedom.
He had the good fortune to be born in India in the earlier part of the 20th century. The values of those decades were a continuation of the earlier centuries. His repeated anguish at the fall of values is society in recent decades will evoke like evoke like feelings in the heart of the discerning reader.
His 10precious books, named expressively by him as " Ten Garlands" on the world of Music of Music, Musical Giants of the past and the present and the memorable, lasting Culture of Bharat will be can enduring source of reference and joy future generations.
The author, on his own initiative, had taken up many public causes and social ills and had fought to redress them long before the PIL [Public Interest Litigation] practice became widespread.
On a personal note, I have known Shri N.Rajagopalan for over fifty years. He is a person of high integrity, commitment and lofty ideals. His publications and numerous articles over the years are a testimony to the depth of this knowledge and hard, productive work. The nerve with which he had faced the serious injury and attendant havoc to his beloved wife by a cruel third, without diluting hisfaith in Divinity i remarkable, a lesson to others.
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