Star of Mysore owner-editor K.B. Ganapathy‘s spectacular celebration of his son Vikram Muthanna‘s wedding with Roopika at the clubhouse of the Mysore Race Course last weekend provided three fine evenings of Kodava hospitality.
On Sunday evening, with her biographer T.J.S. George around, and over beer, rum and champagne, KBG narrated an interesting story involving the legendary Carnatic classical singer, M.S. Subbulakshmi.
Long years ago, MS was more than a little concerned about the little girl she and T. Sadashivam had adopted. The couple heard of a swamiji in Mysore who had magical powers of healing. That swamiji was Sri Ganapathi Sachidananda Swamiji.
MS wrote to her best friend in Mysore, R.K. Narayan, asking him to assist her in fixing up a meeting with the swamiji.
RKN—who as KBG so beautifully put it, “knew only writing and walking”—got in touch with somebody who, in turn, helped the couple get through to the Swamiji. A rendezvous was arranged during their next visit to Mysore.
But, unfortunately, little by way of a miracle came out of the meeting and the swamiji was unable to administer the healing touch that MS had so desperately sought.
“Listening to RKN narrate the incident over a cup of coffee,” recalled KBG, “I was reminded of a passage in Somerset Maugham‘s Of Human Bondage, in which Phillip, the young protagonist, goes to bed with a prayer on his lips for a cure for his cleft foot and wakes up hoping for a miracle that wasn’t there.” Just.