“After the festival I requested Ramachandra Iyer to give me permission to go back home. Around 20-30 prominent residents of Chennai gathered for my farewell and they all spoke in my praise. I can never forget the words of Ramachandra Iyer.
“‘I had formed a mental picture of Papanasam Sivan. He would be around fifty, sporting the sacred ash on his person with several rudraksha malas adorning his chest. He would be wearing the dhoti in the panchakaccham style and would have the complexion of a ripe gourd. I imagined that he would be accompanied by two or three disciples. My mind refused to accept that this figure, sitting in a corner, clad in a four-cubit dhoti and sans an upper garment or baggage of any sort and for all appearances presenting a picture of a simpleton would be the great Sivan. I dismissed scornfully the idea that this man could perform bhajans. Truly I realise now that his simple appearance and humble ways show him for the great man that he is.’
“Ramachandra Iyer gifted me Rs 500 on that occasion. From then on Kapali and Karpagam made me their own and kept me near them. Truly, this has been my greatest fortune.”
A nice one!