V V Sadagopan, my grandfather, was a great musicologist, musician, lyricist and a hero of his times.
Yes, I can honestly say he was one of a kind not just for his talents but for the person he was. I was very lucky to be with him at a young age and what remains in my mind and whole psyche is his openness in accepting all faiths, cultures and traditions. He used to take us to all holy places and ask us to observe what is best in each. All music was heard and appreciated. No preaching but just opening the windows of our mind.
“When we appreciate, the differences are rarely seen, “he said. “Art transcends all human differences, “ was another dictum he believed and lived by. He revived many traditions, like Vaishnavism (devotion to Vishnu) and Pasurams (devotional songs in Tamil), not because he thought them to be superior to the others, but to present that dimension too to the world. As a lyricist, he sought to convey secular values in a non obtrusive way.
Incidentally, the name of this blog, Jai Joy was his standard greeting. As for him, joy and music were synonymous. Yes, Jai ho, today’s buzzword would have appealed to him, too.
Even today, whenever confused, I always ask myself "How would Appaji have responded?"
Jai joy, Appaji, Thanks for the wisdom you imparted to me.