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S.P.Balasubramaniam shares memories with music buffs



MUSICAL BONDS: S.P. Balasubramaniam at Kamukara Purushothaman's residence.

From fond remembrances of the late singer C.O. Anto to the floods that have inundated Tamil Nadu figured in the informal chat noted singer S.P. Balasubramaniam had with the members of the Kamukara Foundation on Sunday morning. Mr. Balasubramaniam and his sister S.P. Shylaja were in the capital city to attend the presentation of the Kamukara Award to K.P. Udayabhanu and also participate in the ganamela on Saturday. They visited Kamukara Purushothaman's residence and shared a few moments with the late singer's family members.

While exchanging pleasantries with music buffs who gathered around him, Mr. Balasubramaniam keenly inquired about Anto who was a prominent presence in the theatre as well as cinema till the late seventies. "Where is Anto now? Is he still in Kerala," he asked, and the foundation members reminded him that Anto had passed away sometime ago. The warm friendship between Purushothaman and Udayabhanu and their troupe, `Old is Gold,' also figured in the conversation. Mr. Balasubramaniam presented `Ekanthathayude apaara theeram... ' sung by Purushothaman at the Senate Hall and that reminded him of the songs of M.S. Baburaj. "The orchestration is so simple and elegant, all his songs are really appealing. Janaki has sung almost all his songs. Interestingly, Janaki from Andhra has rendered a number of songs in Malayalam and Leelamma (P. Leela) almost an equal number of songs in Telugu too," he said.

The conversation gradually drifted to the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Katrina and also the floods in Tamil Nadu. "We are now fed up with the incessant rains. Either it is floods or drought. What is lacking is an efficient mechanism for rainwater harvesting," he said.

Taking a cue from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu too has made provision for rainwater harvesting imperative for giving clearance to construct residential buildings, but the State is yet to take an initiative for large-scale harvesting to meet the water requirements after two decades, he said.

Mr. Balasubramaniam had witnessed the trail of destruction caused by Katrina in the U.S. The rehabilitation process was very slow and complaints were aplenty. After the devastating floods, Mumbaites quickly sprang to normal life and that showed the resolution of Indians, he observed.

Being the second consecutive programme for the Foundation, Mr. Balasubramaniam and Ms. Shylaja made a discreet selection of songs this year. Considering the taste of the audience, more importance was given to melodies. A child magician who came to Purushothaman's residence engaged Mr. Balasubramaniam for a while with some tricks. He curiously watched the young talent and appreciated his performance.

N.J. Nair

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