T Nagar Talk, Dec 2004

It was a sorrowful weekend for music lovers. The passing away of M S Subbulakshmi came as a jolt to many musicians as well, who treasured her immortalised many songs, including Vaishnavo Janatho, a favourite of Mahatma Gandhi, Meera Bhajans, Annamacharya Kritis and others. She made Kuraiondrum IIlai, written by Rajaji, popular by her rendition.

Talk Team caught up with a few musicians residing in and around T Nagar who shared their experiences and messages for her soul to rest in peace.

Playback singer and president IyaI Isai Nataka Mandram P B Sreenivos said: ‘I am unable to digest her demise. She lived a great life with a beautiful voice and good public image. She is one of the greatest artistes. She is a very humble person that she listened to my composition and praised me. Though she is not present with us in physical form, she still lives with us in the form of music.’

Camatic Vocalist T N Seshagopalan said that MS was an example to other musicians. ‘Her music is divine. She captivated even who were not regular listeners through her voice. In order to take music to the common man, she did not tamper the spirit of music. We are planning to hold a Sangeetha Prarthanai for the legend if other musicians co-operate as a mark of respect and tribute,’ he said.

Ghatam exponent S Karthick said that he had the opportunity of meeting MS at her home. To him her demise is a great loss as a guru of gurus who took Carnatic music to international platform.’ ‘I have no age to talk about her greatness in music. I have never seen a humble person like her. She is an embodiment of music, love, affection and humility’.

Carnatic vocalist Papanasam Ashok Ramani took a trip down memory lane when MS used to visit his illustrious grandfather Papanasam Sivan. ‘There are lot of songs of Sivan, which were popularised by MS. And whenever I go, she used to ask me to sing Kadir Kama Kandan in raga Kamboji composed by my grandfather and she used to recall her experiences with my grandfather’, said Ramani. ‘She would always tell me to render the song in all concerts, which was her favourite. Meeting MS was like being with my grandmother as she used to pour love and affection towards everybody. We really miss her.’