Artistic excellence is, in some ways, like wealth—it can be acquired over a lifetime, or part of a lifetime, of extremely hard work with a side serving of bitterness and resentment, but the only way one can truly enjoy it is to have been born with it. T M Krishna, as it happens, was born with both. Little wonder, then, that he is a source of chagrin for his contemporary musicians. Unlike most of them, he doesn’t have to woo organisers for foreign tours, sabha secretaries for performance