The musicians who had a free date on the 12th June 2003 must have surely thanked their stars. For it seemed that all the musical roads led to but one destination - the Gnananananda hall of the Narada Gana Sabha.
Reason? "Fifty Fest" - a unique tribute to mridangam maestro Karaikudi R. Mani, on the commemoration of his 50th year as a mridangist, organised by his students.
This function seemed to prove two things! The dedication of mani sir's students for their guru, and the fact that music does not lag behind in this hi-tech world. For, as a golden jubilee Guru Dakshina, they gifted him with no other than a Hyundai Accent - that luxury statement in cars.
The function began with an enumeration of mani sir's life, career and service to music, spirituality and and appeal that he be titled Guru Karaikudi Mani.
The senior-most student of Mani, Swaminathan handed over the keys to his Guru, amongst thunderous applause.
But these was more in store - Layamani Layam, the bimonthly magazine of Mani, dedicated this month's issue to a 'photo gallery', a series of over 200 photos of mani sir's life and career.
R. Ramesh, mridangist and a senior disciple of Mani received the 1st copy.
In an emotion packed speech Mani sir expressed his close relationship with his students. He recalled with gratitude his parents, Gurus, Guruji, Students and Rasikas for making him what he was.