From over seventy years ago…

My grandfather, Dr K Vaidyanathan, was a teacher by profession, and a poet at heart. He used to be very devoted to Mundagakkanni Amman, and so was very much in my thoughts these last few days. I was leafing through some of his poetry and reliving his thoughts. Here is one, from his book, ‘Smiles and Tears’, published in 1936.

A Reverie

When a riotous wind about me play’d
When reason fled and rhyme delay’d,
Ere Muse form forth her bower came,
To join free my hearty game,
Ere passion stirr’d my sleeping thoughts
And songs awoke in each other’s hearts
When lip to lip the whisper sped
Of the joy of moon’s peeping head
My pen began a worthless ditty,
O, what shall I say – ’tis a pity!


He would have sure loved the Web 2.0 world!


2 Responses to “From over seventy years ago…”

  1. Srinivasa Says:

    Just when I was about to hit you with ‘Mundaka’ is ‘Lotus’ theory, I gravitated to his book on Tirupati to collect some evidence so you’ll not throw my theory out the window 🙂

    It’s probably strange that one reaches for a book on Tirupati for an explanation on Mundagakanni Amman. It might have happened this way. After all, it’s hard for me to think of a Lady seated on Lotus without thinking of Alarmelmanga. Once the family resemblance between the two deities was realized, the family connection between the two devotees (Dr KV and GK) burst upon me like the ‘sphota’ of the grammarians.

    While on this field trip in my study, I chanced upon an extract from a poem of his in the preface to his book:

    Of all things, great and small,
    A life that knows no harm;
    A heart that beats for all,
    And words that cheer and charm
    Are the things I love best!
    Of all flowers. sweet and shy,
    A flow’r that knows no pride,
    Whose scent tho’ mild soars high
    Whose white is Truth’s own pride
    Is the thing I Love best!

    > He used to be very devoted to Mundagakkanni Amman

    I didn’t know this but I should have guessed.

    Can you please post the complete poem with some context information, if possible?


  2. gkamesh Says:


    Thanks for the note. Isnt the poem lovely! This particular poem appeared in ‘Smiles and Tears’ too. The title is ‘Things I love best’, and what you have shared above, is the complete poem. I really do not know the context in which it was written. It was written when he was in his late twenties or early thirties – this much I know, for the book was published in 1936.

    As regards the flower in the poem….ok…i will put a post….i need to dig out a related poem…It aint the lotus 🙂


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