It was with great shock that I came to know from Gayatri Girish’s post on FB that Rani Anantharaghavan passed away. I did not know her personally but her being on stage strumming the tambura for artistes made a huge difference. She brought a lot of joy to this task and it showed. She also hugely enjoyed the performances. This was a marked departure from the attitudes of many who consider this all-important task a mere drudgery. And why should they not, considering that they are underpaid and hardly ever recognised.
But Rani was different. Perfectly turned out, ever-smiling. I think that is what bringing passion to a job is all about. That she passed away at a relatively young age is doubly saddening. To the world at large her passing may be like that of Shakespeare’s fall of a sparrow but then it makes a huge difference to Carnatic music. Farewell, dear lady and may angels sing thee to thine rest.