His paternal grandfather hailed from the town of Tiruvallur near Madras
He answered to the name "Rajagopala Bhagavathar" - a harikatha practitioner born in a Mudaliyar family
Judging by the grandfather's name, it is possible that Rajagopala Bhagavatar was associated in some way with the temple
It was Kasturi who converted to Islam after Rahman's father's demise when ARR was in his teens
His grandfather was a Harikatha singer. His father was a composer in Malayali cinema
Yet how often do we hear about ARR's ancestry and the musical pedigree inherent therein
But does ARR himself acknowledge the tradition to which he doubtless belongs?
I do see him talk a lot about Islam. But not about Mr Bhagavatar..
the cultural chasm that cleans up the slate instead of letting it be a palimpsest
the loss of civilizational memory in a span of 1-2 generations
I am not passing value judgments on that...But this is something to reflect on.
What should Hindu society do to prevent such cultural discontinuities?
In this case Kasthuri, Rahman's mom, was a practicing Hindu. Facing hardships in life after her husband's death
Now the question is - what made her turn to Qadri. And not somebody in the nearby Kapalishwaran Koil in Mylapore, or Parthasarathy Temple in Triplicane?
But do they do a good job of providing that emotional and social support to people in their most dire moments? Maybe they do.
But it is worth pondering on