Friday, September 25, 2009

Thenkachi Ko Swaminathan

I listened to his "Indru Oru Thagaval" (Message for Today) every day in AIR at about 7 AM'ish every morning. His name and his voice reminded me of van rides to school, and for strange reasons Kerala Saloon and other barber shops where I listened to him. His voice had a deep bassy tone to it. Sometimes a person's voice inherently has a tinge of sarcasm. Even if it is unintended, the sarcasm sort of adds a nice touch to what is being said. Thanjavur folks would have liked him. They would have said "pisuru padaama pesuvaar avar" (he does not stutter or use fillers when he talks).

A year ago I thought of writing a post about him wishing that AIR compile all his short stories and releases it as a CD collection. It would be a priceless collection that we could play for future generations. Unfortunately, I have postponed that post to the point where it became an obit. Thenkachi, for the uninitiated, told short stories in All India Radio and capped it off with a 'moral of the story'. He had a nice way of taking very little of our time and at the same time make us feel that he was telling the story with a relaxed pace. I liked him for doing the R.K. Narayan like thing of taking us back to simple times.


Lavs said...

I remember him very well..he used to do "Indru oru Thagaval" at 7.40 in AIR..its a 5 minute show and after listening to it, i used to start for school...i still remember some of his stories..that's the impact he had on me...sorry to hear about his death..i feel like a part of my childhood (routine) had died along with him

blackaccord said...


i think it was more like 7.40 ish on AIR.... AIR made such an impact back in the 80s that some of the voices over the air cannot be forgotten.. Thenkachi swamnithan;s voice was certainly one voice you won't forget.. Until I saw him on Sun TV in the late 90's, all I knew was his voice and not his face.. Saroj Narayan Swamy, news reader was another one which is unique in its sense..

Indru oru thagaval was really a daily routine as part of my life in the 80s.. There was a daily schedule in our house..
7:15 - national news (usually by saroj narayan swamy)
7:25 - vividh barathi (list of films from which songs will be played that day)
7:30 - ceylon radio will play 2 latest movie songs
7:40 - indru oru thagaval on AIR..

He always ended his stuff with a moral/joke which usually goes like 'indha madhiriye nammalu oruthar irundhaaru'.. He hardly used any english in his program and it was mostly short and sweet.. RIP..

Hawkeye said...

Yes I agree. It may have been 7:40ish. I neither went to school nor barber shop as early as 7 :-)

Hawkeye said...

black accord

yes. yes. this "namma oorla orutharu" always mistook indru oru thagaval's thagaval and went and did a literal interpretation of that thagaval or something else that was funny.

i use d to wonder how he had a joke to tell everyday or how he knew of so many people who had done funny things. Until I realized that it was just rhetorical stuff.

I said...

avar sun tv le solradha ketutu dhan, aapis kilambaradhu.

Freehit said...

I had almost the exact same thoughts about TKS - especially the saloon part! Not surprised that everyone shares similar memories and that he was such an integral part of our mornings.

Kokki Kumarru said...

Ya.. those were the days when v never had television and relied on Radio everyday for entertainment.. I used to get ready early for school so as to catch my bus at 8.00 and in the same time never missing the great man's story.. I used to assume that it was the voice of the tamil comedian TK ramasamy

It would be reaaly good if AIR launches a collection..

Venkat said...

Hi short stories have been compiled and released as a book.., not sure about a CD though..