Parvathy Mahadevan, B.A graduate, Queen Mary’s College, 1947

“Parvathy Mahadevan( nee KK Parvathy), was born on May 6th , 1927, In  Thrissur Kerala.  She is the 6th daughter among 7 of 9 siblings.

She graduated in BA, Natural Science from the Queen Marys College for women in Chennai in the year 1947.

She graduated in Karnatic Music from the College of Music, Chennai, in 1949 (first in the family)

Parvathy suffered  severe third degree burns in an accident as a child of 1 1/2 years .  The right side of the upper part of her body was permanently charred. Her mother died some time  after this accident, leaving Parvathy to be cared for by her doting father, a kind, widowed, maternal aunt and her married siblings & their spouses in turns.

The wise father, who envisioned a marriage-less future for this beautiful child , decided to Educate &  Empower  her at any cost. Parvathy went to school. She excelled in academics & Music. She played lead roles in school dramas & won acclaim for her singing talent.

The father moved her to Chennai to further her studies. She was enrolled  at the Queen Marys college , choosing Natural Science  & Music as her subjects. The college provided ample opportunity for these talents to blossom.

Miss Meyers, the then Principal , saw rare beauty, courage & talent in her student Parvathy. She encouraged her to participate in Inter college competitions&  festivals, & Parvathy did the college proud , winning accolades.

Soon, Miss Meyers left India & Miss Lakshmi Amma l( daughter of Shri Madhavaiyya), took over as the first Indian woman Principal of the college.

She too had a soft corner for Parvathy & soon arranged a marriage of  Parvathy with her nephew, Mahadevan,  (grandson Of Madhavaiyya & Justice Sadashiva Aiyyer, both Theosophists).

Parvathy married Mahadevan on 29th Jan 1947.

She continued at the college & completed her graduation that year. She was the proud recipient of a Bachelors degree &  for being the first graduate in the family, her mother-in-law bought her a pair of earrings!!

Parvathy had a baby girl in 1948 Dec.( ME!). In 1949, she was expecting her second baby , when the husband’s family desired her to continue qualifying in Karnatic  music, which they saw as her true gift.

Parvathy now Educated, Empowered & Emancipated, took up the challenge & joined the first batch of Karnatic College of Music in Chennai.

She  was awarded a “Cultural Scholarship” by Government of India , which helped her complete her degree in music.

She was gifted a Tambura  by Shri Rajagoplachari on his visit to Chennai.

Parvathy  has been a radio singer, performer, composer and teacher par excellence over the years.

It is music that sustains her zest for life even today… ”

Contributor: daughter Mangala Ayre (Kancheepuram)

One thought on “Parvathy Mahadevan, B.A graduate, Queen Mary’s College, 1947

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  1. She lived life truly on her terms & was an inspiration to many of us..
    She commanded respect & following with her resonating voice ( to be known as Banglore MS)
    Our prayers for her athma to achieve santhi.. Sundar,nephew

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