Other than music, he was very passionate about Sports, Movies and
Books. He was not a typically social person but once he got to know people, he would open up a lot, and used to be great
fun to be with, often causing riotous laughter all around.
- Like a billion other Indians, he was just crazy about Cricket. An ardent die-hard
supporter of the Indian team, he would never utter a neagtive word on the team, even if they had lost on the day, and would
admonish anyone who did that in his presence. In his view, it was a privilege to be representing the country and he always
felt that the players are trying their best.
- He loved this game too, and whenever time permitted, he would watch the Grand
Slam matches - particularly the Wimbledon Finals. He loved the history and traditions that surrounded the sporting event.
Babu followed this sport with a very keen eye. He had books of older Russian Chess players and played those games with other
enthusiasts and relished discussing every strategic move of the players. The Russian Grandmaster, Alexande Alekhine was a
big favorite of his, and he keenly studied the games of many other masters as well
- He took great pride in the ascent of V. Anand as he scaled new heights regularly
He was very fluent in Telugu, Tamil and English and so old classics were a favorite from any of these languages.
He would watch, rewind and watch again all the classic scenes and analyze every aspect of that scene with family and friends
around him. Everything from the actor's performance, the director's touch, to the music behind it had to be analyzed and relished
and he would do so with child-like enthusiasm.
"Now, as a great musician himself, whose music did HE listen to??"
- is an often asked question by many people.
- He would listen
to many other classical greats - Balamurali Krishna, MS Subbulakshmi, ML Vasantha Kumari, Flute Mali, MD Ramanthan, Ramnad
Krishnan, GN Balasubramaniam to name a few.
- In the next generation,
he had immensely liked Chitravina Ravi Kiran, Mandolin U Shrinivas and Flute Shashank amongst instrumentalists,
and also Bombay Jayashri, Sudha Raghunathan amongst vocalists.
the Hindustani Music style, he loved many of the artistes, but his particular favorites were, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Bade Ghulam
Ali Khan, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Bhimsen Joshi, Pt. Jasraj, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Begum Parveen
Sultana. Amongst the next generation he had liked Ajoy Chakraborty and Shujaat Khan,
- Ghazals - he loved listenting to - Mehdi Hassan and Ghulam Ali - the Masters of Ghazal - as he called them
- Film music was also something he had enormous respect for - whether it
was Ghantasala and SP Balasubramaniam in the South, or Lata Mangeshkar and Mohd Rafi in the North, and MS Viswanathan and
Saluri Rajeswara Rao in the South or Madan Mohan and Naushad in the North, he loved them all.
- Soulful western numbers also captivated him always
He really enjoyed reading a lot. He
would always read Reader's Digest and share jokes and quotations from the various regular sections in there.
He also poured over Telugu and English books and his favorites were PG Wodehouse,
Charles Dickens, Shakespeare and Bernard Shaw in English and great works of a host of literary masters in Telugu including, Devulapalli
Krishna Shastri, Arudra, Viswanatha Satyanarayana, Karunasri, among others. Although he could not read Tamil, he spoke very
good Tamil, and enjoyed watching great debates on TV, and stimulating discussions of Tamil literateurs, as well.
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