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Entire village wore a festive look
Balamurali’s songs filled the air
Sankaraguptam (East Godavari): ‘Gana Gandharva’ Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna celebrated his 79th birthday in this tiny, scenic and rich village, amid a gathering of long-time friends and well-wishers on Thursday. He visited this village 30 years ago and did not turn up since.
The entire village wore a festive look with welcome arches, coconut pandals and traditional music. The air was filled with Balamurali’s old music albums, both Carnatic and film songs.
His friends from Amalapuram went to Malikipuram by bus and reached Sankaraguptam on Thursday to take part in the birthday celebrations of their legendary classmate. One among them is Ch. Venkataramaiah. “We are so lucky to have a diamond from our class. He became yellow metal, but his voice is nothing less than ‘Tumbura’. He also acted in films as ‘Narada’, which suits him,” he recalled.
Balamurali came into limelight when he gave his first music concert at the age of 15. The writer and musician left his village at an early age when he went to Vijayawada to do his high school studies. Incidentally, music maestro Parupalli Ramakrishnaiah accepted the young Balamurali as his disciple after which he rose like the ‘Vugra’ Godavari (river Godavari during flood time). Fond of river Godavari, where he used to do ‘sadhana’ (practice) at sunrise, Balamurali is a recipient of France’s highest civilian honour ‘Chevalier’, besides ‘Padma Vibhushan’.
He will next attend a civic reception in Rajahmundry on Friday morning hosted by the Municipal Corporation from where he will head to Anam Kalakendram to render a concert in the evening.
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