Time was when T R Mahalingam (aka Mali) strode the music world like a colossus. But the flute wizard was a maverick, a genius who would scale great heights, but would turn a concert into a circus and disappoint his ardent fans. He took N Ramani as his disciple and the latter provided the quintessential contrast: soft, docile, humble, unassuming, accessible and yet who played the finer aspects of music from his famous guru. Not for once did he disappoint the rasikas and always provided a full range of fare from elaborate raga alapana to swara prasthara.
Ramani received great recognition, including the coveted title of Sangitha Kalanidhi from the Music Academy. Violin maestro Lalgudi Jayaraman presented the veena-venu-
violin ensemble in association with Ramani that attracted wide attention for several years. Ramani also presented jugal bandhi with another flute maestro Hariprasad Chaurasia as also with Balamurali Krishna and Pandit Jasraj, violinist T N Krishnan and sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan.
Ramani maintained a reputation of being a great flautist for over six decades till he breathed his last at the age of 81. May his soul rest in peace.