'Saragrahi' at work on his aqua blue Smith Corona typewriter at his Malleswaram, Bangalore residence.

‘Saragrahi’ T.B. Narasimhachar at work on his aqua blue Smith Corona typewriter at his Malleswaram, Bangalore residence in the mid 1980s.  (Photo: Srinivas Bhashyam)

Namaskara & Welcome!

T.B. Narasimhachar (April 15, 1915 – Nov 23, 1988) was a well-known personality in Bangalore’s Carnatic music circles. He wrote music reviews under the pen name of ‘Saragrahi’ (pronounced “Saaragraahi”, meaning ‘connoisseur’ in Sanskrit). He was also one of the founders and the first secretary of Malleswaram Sangeetha Sabha and worked towards its growth and success as long as he lived.

This website is a labor of love for all of us in his family. This is our tribute to his deep love for Carnatic music and relentless efforts towards building a strong and vibrant music scene in Bangalore. Always a behind-the-scenes man who believed in preserving history (when it was not fashionable or easy to do so), it seems fitting that T.B.Narasimhachar (TBN) should get an easily accessible website full of historical information to remember him by.


In spite of it being a family project, we have tried to stay away from hyperbole and provided as much references and documentation as were available to us.

Apart from what we already knew about him (mainly through his eldest daughter Smt. Aravinda), we pieced together aspects of his personal life based on family photo albums and an interview that appeared in the Kannada magazine ‘Taranga’.

We spoke to a few senior musicians about their association with TBN. They had interesting personal anecdotes to share.

Malleswaram Sangeetha Sabha was another valuable source, with some lovely black and white photos and old issues of their in-house bulletin ‘Nadopasana’. We have put together a section devoted to TBN’s contributions to the Sabha, peppered with many photos.

We have uploaded a sampling of his newspaper writings that we extracted from scrap books that TBN had maintained. Unfortunately scrapbooks of his articles in Kannada were destroyed in a pest infestation.

Who is this for?

We hope the information provided will be of historical interest to students of music and journalism, musicians/musicologists and Carnatic music lovers the world over. Some of you may enjoy a trip down memory lane with the pictures of an earlier era. Others may like reading through few of TBN’s concert reviews and write ups on musicians of those decades. Although designed to be an archival website, your interest in the contents will keep the website very much alive. We would love to hear from you with any additional documentation/information/photographs or your opinion on any of the topics here.

Please add your comments inline or email us at saragrahi.tbn@gmail.com.

Also checkout this wiki article on TBN


7 thoughts on “Home

  1. Saroja Sundararajan

    I came to know about this great personality TBN through his daughter Padmini who was working with me in LIC Bangalore. When ever I visited their house in Malleswaram I was always wonder struck at one unique feature of their home namely it was filled by the music or musicians. Music lovers in Bangalore and in particular Malleswaram owe a great deal to him for organising innumerable concerts over the years and bringing to the fore several young artistes. Let me also mention that going through his music reviews which were always marked by his great erudition, a contextual perspective and sense of objectivity was a rich experience. Going through them was like recapturing the earlier joy of listening to the concert. As some one else mentioned I have never seen in his writings anything which is inane or irreverent or satirical. No wonder he was held in great esteem by both the communities musicians and rasikas.
    I vividly recall my first interaction with him. When I went to meet Padmini, it was natural that he asked about my interest in music. When I chose to sing he asked me to sing Todi. For him Todi is the touchstone of musical skill. A musician can be assessed by the way he/she handles Todi. I learnt many krities and Tiruppavai from Aravinda, Padmini’s elder sister. Over the past several years, I and Padmini continue to exchange notes on many matters related to carnatic music.
    I must compliment the family for launching a website very thoughtfully that will allow admirers to pay their tributes to the Great TBN.
    Saroja Sundararajan


  2. In today’s world Internet has become some sort of a Life companion to all of us.
    We can access it from any where and read what ever we want to. Using this
    technology we are able to read and know more about great personalities and great
    men and women. Mr TBN is one such a person and his family is doing a great
    job in bringing out a website for the cause of carnatic music which apart from giving
    hours of divine music is also a source of knowing more and more about artists.

    I wish the tribe of Mr TBN grows and all the good wishes to the family who are doing a good
    service. Though a novice in carnatic music I enjoyed reading the articles.
    R. Vasudevan


  3. Jayalakshmi

    I could only say ‘May his tribe increase’ about Sri. TBN.


  4. S.R.Murali

    Superb collection of Information about a great personality.Congradulations to all who compiled in a great way.
    S.R.Murali & Niranjana


  5. Venkatakrishnan

    The creation of the website on SaragrahiTbn is an excellent work by the members of his family.
    It is great they could team up in gathering so much valuable information about his life ,his illustrious lineage and above all his enormous contribution to the Carnatic music world.
    Congratulations to all the members of this great family on the making of this website,a fitting tribute to Saragrahi Mr.T.B.N!



  6. Chandrika

    A nice tribute to a great lover of Carnatic music. Enjoyed the pictures of old time singers. The section “Musicians remember” was a surprise – he seems to have spotted and encouraged many famous musicians during their initial years.
    – Chandrika


    • T.A.Narasimhan

      great tribute to Saragrahi TBN. In music, the critic is the only independent source of information. The rest is advertising. Unlike, Subbudu, TBN never crossed the line of control.
      Once Subbudu reviewed a performance by B. Rajam Aiyer. His review next day referred to Rajam Aiyer’s diamond studs and had said :ராஜம் ஐய்யர் காதிலும் கம்மல் தொண்டையிலும் கம்மல். The comment caused ripples and the next day, they almost traded blows. Such controversial comments never appeared in TBN’s music reviews. He had introduced several musicians and like a King entertaining musicians in his court, TBN invited them and provided all facilities to them during their stay. Being the Associate Editor and News Editor of The Hindu, I pay my repects to his memory on his centenary on behalf of my daily and also on behalf of my family.
      The Hindu


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