Meet T S Narayanaswamy   –  Businessman and artist.  

Known to his friends as TSN.   A  highly accomplished professional .  A Chartered Accountant and Cost Accountant by profession,   he is the founder of Unicard Services –   pioneer in direct marketing of financial products and services , telecom products and internet services and associates of most of the leading Banks and Telecom companies. for almost three decades.   

We profile his passion for sketching in this edition of Safe Seniors.   Drawing caricatures was his childhood pass time and he picked up this passion again after 30 years.     He has held exhibitions of his art in Chennai which has received very good response.

With two books and over 300 plus sketches,  TSN says that sketching personalities is his forte.   Over 90 percent of his work is sketching personalities.  His sketches are reproduced versions of the originals.   One of his books is dedicated to Maha Periyava ( One of the most revered saints of Tamilnadu) with 108 sketched portraits.

Early days

He hails from a family of journalists, cartoonists and writers.   TSN is related to R K  Narayan and R K Lakshman .   But he was greatly inspired by his uncle, Mr. Sridhar a cartoonist for the Tamil magazine “Ananda Vikatan” in the 1940s who was more popularly known as Bharanidharan (for his writing) and Marina (for his playwrites).   Several prominent cartoonists today are his contemporaries.

TSN started drawing when he was just 4 years old.  Mrs. Hema,  past Principal of Padma Seshadri school recalled his interest in sketching.   She says “he is truly multifaceted.  Unassuming he can capture the mood in his sketch so well,  It  is a god given gift.”   Mrs. Y G Parthasarathy, the founder of Padma Seshadri group of educational institutions, where he studied, spotted his talent at an early stage.  She told the class teacher to allow him sketch not only in class but use his talent for school projects.

His initial sketches were with pencil.   He uses technology now to do his sketches.  His daughter gifted him an Ipad that he uses to sketch with e pencil.   Though most of his initial work were in black,  the Ipad has inspired him to do a few color sketches.

The spiritual intervention :

TSN feels blessed to have the devine involvement of Kanchi Maha Periyava.  His aunt had suggested that he sketches Mahaperiyava.   That’s how he got involved. 

He recalls a very interesting incident.   Once he was doing a sketch ( drawing) on Mahaperiava.  He had a photograph of Maha Periyava for reference.  He used to cover the drawing sheet with a newspaper .  Co incidentally it also had a Mahaperiyava photo.  He says that felt the devine blessings of the saint.  Instead of drawing the reference photo, he ended up sketching the image that was on the newspaper.   Another incident he recalls is that while he was doing his apprenticeship for his CA (Articleship as it is referred to),  he had the opportunity to visit the Kanchi Math.  He wanted to show his drawing to Mahaperiyava.   On seeing his sketch,  Mahaperiyava said to him “padi padi”   TSN thought that he was referring to the steps that was in the portrait.  But actually the saint suggested that he should focus on his studies and complete his studies first.  It was only in 2017,  after a gap of nearly 30 years, did he start perusing his passion in drawing again.

Six of his large Mahaperiyava drawing are kept in Sanctum Sanctorum of Mahaperiyava Mani Mandapam in Orikai.   He recalls another interesting incident.  In 2017, he was sketching Ramana Maharishi in his ipad for a cover image in a magazine.   The drawing was only 50 percent complete as it was not saved in its entire format.   However, everyone was appreciating the drawing, not knowing that it was only 50 percent complete.    That talks much about the efforts that he puts in.  He says that once he starts sketching,   he normally gets off only when it is complete.

He has sketched many religios leaders including  Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Mother ( Mira Alfassa), Jaggi Vasudev,  Ramana Maharishi etc.,  

Popular artists :

He has also sketched popular artists like Rajnikanth, Kamal Hassan and sports persons like  Virat Kholi and M S Dhoni.  He has also done caricatures of world leaders like Barack Obama, Vladmir Putin, Angela Merkel and Donald Trump amongst others. 

Some of his drawings

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