Like many girls growing up in Madras, I learned Carnatic music and Bharata Natyam (as well as, unlike most, western classical piano). It was my great fortune and blessing that I had exceptional gurus who instinctively understood the fundamentals of pedagogy and brought them to life. Their love and dedication for their art, their passion to share their knowledge, their hard work for very little material reward, all inspired and influenced me and have played a tremendous role in who and what I am today. Alas, none of them are alive any more; just a few days back, the last of my childhood gurus, Kalanidhi Narayanan, referred to by one and all as Kalanidhi Maami, passed away. I have shared some memories, experiences and thoughts that I hope encapsulate the remarkable essence of Maami, and my relationship with her.