”It’s nothing but the divine will. If all of you have given a place of pride for me in your minds and if I am receiving this award, again it’s nothing but the resolution of the Almighty,” veteran musician V. Dakshinamoorthy told a packed audience in a dispassionate tone after receiving the prestigious Swati Sangeeta Puraskaram for his lifetime contributions to Carnatic music at the Durbar Hall here on Friday evening.

The nonagenarian musician had received a slew of honours, ranging from the State award for the best music director in 1971 to the Swati Puraskaram bestowed by the Culture Department and the Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Akademi. But Dakshinamoorthy, affectionately being referred to as Swami by music lovers, would only say that it was nothing but the blessings of God and the prayers of the people who have a passion for music. The man who has dedicated his life for the pursuit of music, composing about 1,000 songs for 200 films and rendering innumerable Carnatic concerts, is still actively exploring new vistas of music with renewed vigour.

Minister for Culture K.C. Joseph, who chaired the function, recalled the invaluable contribution made by the royal family of erstwhile Travancore to the culture of the State and the dexterity of the musician who was honoured with the award. He also had a word of praise for the immaculate life and music being practised by Dakshinamoorthy.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who presented the award, had a surprising announcement in store for the audience. Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan had offered to set up a music institute and students hostel in the capital. The government would extend all assistance and cooperation to the institute, he said in the presence of Mr. Khan. “By honouring Dakshinamoorthy, we are honouring ourselves,” he said.

Akademi secretary P.V. Krishnan Nair welcomed. Culture Secretary Rani George read out the citation. Danseuse Lekshmi Gopalaswamy offered felicitations. Akademi chairman Nataraja Krishnamoorthy described the details of the Swati dance and music festival which begins here on Friday. Akademi executive member V.R. Pratapan proposed a vote of thanks.