There is a story of a pregnant zamindarini Saraswathi Devi, who went to Bangalore Nagarathnamma’s house in Madras, and begged to be blessed that her next child should be a son as she already had two daughters. In those days women of royalty never visited devadasi houses no matter how respected they were. Nagarathnamma visited the zamindarini’s house and blessed her giving her a lemon saying that she would have a son. She did. And that lemon still exists in that lady’s small silver puja box, much shrivelled after 80 years but still recognisable. I know. I am that son.
(‘Why not a biopic on Nagarathnamma?’ by V.A.K. Ranga Rao, The Hindu, Music & Dance, Nov 30, 2018)

At a concert by Alamelu Jayarama Iyer, the first woman to run a Sabha, there was a cry for Hindustani pieces towards the end. The singer gently admonished the crowd and said that just because some of the end pieces of a performance were set in ragas of North Indian origin, it would be wrong to label them as Hindustani. That name applied to a great art she said, one that was as ancient and evolved as Carnatic music. The audience appreciated her remarks.
(‘Music Season: It was like this only’ by V. Sriram, The Hindu, Music & Dance, Nov 30, 2018)

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