Almost every evening you could see him get down from the rear seat of a Tata Nano car, and walk with faltering steps as someone guided him to a front row seat at one of the concert venues in Chennai. The performance could be by an up-and-coming, little known or well-known musician. The old man could easily pass off as a pensioner spending the autumn of his life by treating himself to live classical music. This was vocalist-teacher-musicologist T.R. Subramanyam’s near-daily routine. His genial demeanour belied his reputation as an uncompromising upholder of the spirit of Carnatic music, acquired over the last six decades in the world of classical music.

To him the music afforded aesthetic pleasure through exploration of ragas, delight in rhythmic variations and joy at the literary efflorescence of the composers. His pursuit in music was wholesome and holistic.