As MS Subbulakshmi, the god’s own voice, celebrates her 89th birthday today, all we can do is to wish her The Hindu way, Many healthy happy peaceful returns of the day. Offlate, her recent setbacks on health front did worry millions of her fans across the world and this is probably is one nice way to wish her great health.
The quest to enjoy her music, live in an auditorium, has only grown over the days and has never suffered a downfall. Everytime you would hear Kurai Ondrumillai or the Bhaja Govindam or her Meera Bhajans, her music grows on you. These are just some popular examples that one can relate to. A long time carnatic music fanatic would be able to identify a raaga sung by a contemporary singer and relate to how MS has/would sung the similar raaga better.
While Raaga Aalaapana, they say, is easier said than done, I have heard people who talk/write about her ability to research deeper into a raaga during the Aalaapanai and still keep the audience glued. But again, we are just gifted to listen to her music on tapes. I constantly envy those who have enjoyed her carnatic kutcheris in person.
Few years back, while I had to visit my friend in the Apollo Hospital, we saw MS was just walking slowly in the reception area, probably for a doctor visit. And before me and my friend could realise it was MS herself, a few teenaged girls literally started running towards her. Bowed her down and were damn excited to see her. The next moment, a small queue got formed and they started falling down on her feet to get her blessings. While me and my friend stood transfixed by her tejas and the kind way she responded to those girls, we also realised that she was so embarassed to have a queue waiting to fall in her feets. All this within minutes and then she had gone. Though I had seen her before in a kutcheri, this recent one remains so fresh and couldn’t believe even today that we actually glimpsed MS, so near, in person.
Fly here for a complete profile of MS Subbulakshmi. This Happy Birthday Dude!! is kind of getting on like a impromptu series, so allow me to call everyone informally, a dude, including MS.