THE MS CENTURY – Can we emulate her in generosity?

M.S. Subbulakshmi“Someone told me you are Kalki’s grandson?” It was a question proffered hesitantly. When I turned to look at the woman, all I saw was her kind yet piercing eyes. She was wearing a black purdah but the veil had been moved. When I answered her question she reached with her two hands and held mine in a warm grip. “Because of your grandfather I was taught to read and write,” she said with a smile that defused some of the intensity in her voice. “When I heard you were at this wedding I wanted to meet you.” She looked at me for a minute and, before I could gather my thoughts and find my voice to utter a response, she melted away.

This incident happened some years ago when I was attending a wedding in Chennai. From the brief words she spoke I learned that Kalki Krishnamurthy and Rajaji had visited this lady’s grandfather at his home. Upon seeing the little girl playing, the two of them suggested that she be given an education. Kalki Krishnamurthy then sat with the little girl, on the ground in front of the house, and guided the small hand to trace the vowels of the Tamil alphabet in the sandy ground.

Some fifty years later I had the good fortune to meet her and she was telling me how that moment had changed her life and that of her entire family. This encounter was one of the best gifts I have received and my eyes mist over whenever I remember. I wish I had asked her name and stayed in touch… read more