How T.N. Bala became Mani Iyer’s Disciple

There was this post on YouTube by Sri. Yesh Prabhu who apparently had been learning under Sri. T.N. Bala for many years. In this post, he mentions how T.N. Bala became Mani Iyer’s disciple. I will simply  quote his post here.

“I am so happy to see that Sri Madurai Mani Iyer is respected and  so revered even now, after all these years of his passing away. (He passed away on June 8, 1968). Sri Mani Iyer was my guru’s guru. My guru, the late Sri T N Bala (composer of the famous kriti Vilaiyada idu nerama? in Shanmukhapriya raga), was a very senior disciple of Sri MMI. My guru told me how he was chosen by Sri MMI to be his shishya: Sri MMI was sitting in his yard one Sunday morning, listening to Madras AIR. Two young boys were singing Shree Muthuswami Dikshitar’s kriti Surya murthe in Sowrashtra raga. Impressed, he called the radio station to find out who the boys were, and was astonished that the boys were the sons of his neighbor across the street. He then approached their father to express his wish to teach the boys. Their father was only too happy, of course, and consented. Occasionally, after my lesson, Sri Bala sang for me, imitating Sri MMI’s voice, a Navagraha kriti or a Navaavarana kiti. It was as if Sri MMI sat in front of me and sang; and it was an amazing experience! I have learnt Carnatic vocal from Sri T N Bala for more than 29 years. YeshPrabhu, Bushkill, Pennsylvania “

Event report ” Great south Indian Carnatic Vocalists of the 50’s”

This is a synopsis of the event that took place at P.S. High school on 22nd January 2017.

The event kick started at 4.25 p.m with V.Vishnu’s (anchor) prayer. Then S.venugopal in his welcome address spoke about the event being a tribute to ariyakudi ramanuja iyengar as it was his remembrance day.
So not surprisingly the first excerpt that was played was ariyakudi’s thodi. It was followed by Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer’s kamas ( kriti Brochevarevarura). A rare recording of Musiri Subramania iyer singing without accompanists was next on the playlist. Chembai’s booming voice was heard in the kambhoji kriti sri subramanyaya namaste next. A brilliant semmangudi’s dwijavanthi kriti Chetasri was played subsequently. The highlight of the kriti was the incredible swaras. Two recordings of G.N.B was played next. One was the amritavarshini kriti Sudhamayee and next was a hindolam raga alapana sung without accompanists at his home. The great madurai Mani iyer’s mohanam rained next ( Kapali). Alathur brothers then held sway with their purvikalyani kriti Deva Deva. M.S. Subbhulakshmi was next with her Annamacharya’s kriti. The event concluded with D.K. Pattamal’s begada.
All in all over a hundred rasikas attended and  it was like having an assorted platter of the best dishes in carnatic music.