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Dr. V Dakshinamoorthi Swami

9 December 1919 – 2 August 2013

Swamy, as he is fondly called was indeed very close to my family. A veteran Carnatic Music genius, composer and music director of Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi films, he set scores for over 1400 songs. Swamy and his family took the trouble of traveling from Chennai to attend my 60th birthday ceremonies in Bangalore in June 2013. Earlier he had come to our house in Noida in 2008 with his wife Smt. Kalyani and stayed with us for about a week when he came to inaugurate the Noida Ayyappa Temple Gopuram. He performed a classical concert for three long hours on 4th October 2008 where my childhood friend and veteran violinist Sri. T.G. Gopalakrishnan (Mangalore) accompanied him on the violin. He was 89 years old then and showcased a superb and arresting performance.

He was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva of the Vaikom Temple in Kottayam District, Kerala. A very gifted and blessed soul, he has written several poems and lyrics too. He was a revered mentor to modern-day music composers and musicians like Ilayaraja, K.J. Yesudas, P. Susheela, A.R. Rehman and his father R.K.Shekar.

Swamy was showered with several awards and honours, but the State Government forgot to even confer him a Padmasree. I had personally spoken with people in the government as well as some Kerala based politicians and they wanted paperwork to be done which I was willing to do. But when I consulted Swamy about this and seek his permission to go ahead, he gave me a hard serious and sarcastic look! And he mentioned “Don’t do any such silly things – I don’t need to apply for an honour at this stage in my life “So I obediently followed his command. 
The Kerala State Film Award for 2019 was presented to him posthumously after 7 years of his departure in 2020 for his songs in the film Shyaamaragam. This is a musical film and Swamy wrote the lyrics and gave life to those lyrics with his signature tunes; he was 94 then. Swamy brought in four generations of musicians together who he had nurtured and mentored – Augustine Joseph, his son K.J.Yesudas, his son Vijay Yesudas and his young daughter Ameya who all sang in that film. 

Swamy for me was a towering personality and a phenomenon.  A Godly figure with amazing gifts, he was the very epitome of humility and simplicity. Whenever I was in Chennai, I visited him and there he was - an engaging conversationalist with tons of anecdotes. He would often go into a trance and pull you along in that journey. What an experience and it was always electrifying.  A day before he passed away peacefully at his humble one bedroom flat in Chennai on the 2nd August 2013, I had spoken to him at length. The next day he was no more. He was 95 years old.  That was just a little over a month since he came to Bangalore and participated in my 60th Birthday ceremonies. We consider his presence in Bangalore  God sent. 
Indeed, a Great Loss. More on V. Dakshinamoorthy on this Wikipedia Page 

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