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Honouring the singing sensation

M.L. NARASIMHAM

S.P. Balasubrahmanyam receives yet another honour.



LAURELS GALORE SPB is the first recipient of yet another prestigious award of Visishta Kalakarudu.

You cannot but admire the man. Achiever of the highest order in South Indian film music scene, yet humble and humane to the core. Be it a national award or an award instituted by a private organisation he receives them with equal ιlan. S. P. Balasubrahmanyam who will be completing four decades of musical journey this December, is the first recipient of yet another prestigious award of Visishta Kalakarudu, named after veteran freedom fighter and a pioneering film journalist Inturi Venkateswara Rao.

The awards function was held on May 24 at Sri Sarada Bhavan (Infosys Hall), Chennai. Veteran film historian and journalist Randor Guy was also chosen for the award for the year 2006 while Rentala Jayadeva received the first such award last year.

This year, the Trust has added one more award for eminence in the field of film art. Receiving the award, a visibly moved S.P.B. recalled his association with the veteran journalist and said, "By receiving an award named after him, I feel I am greatly honoured. Inturi was a man who followed Gandhian principles and remained a simple soul despite his achievements." "I had a wonderful experience of seeing Inturi Venkateswara Rao, Kamalakara Kameswara Rao, Peesapati Narasimha Rao, Bapu, Mullapudi Venkataramana and Nanduri Rammohan Rao sharing the same stage at the World Telugu Conference in New York. During the trip, I spent two weeks with Inturi and it was a great learning experience. He had however one dream unfulfilled. He had this dream of making a film on Tarigonda Vengamamba whose story he had brought in a book form. He wanted me to sing for the film. However after his demise, when Sai Krishna Yachendra brought the story in a cassette format, I rendered the songs and could keep my promise," recalled the veteran singer.

Speaking in praise of Randor Guy, the recipient of the Inturi journalist award he said, "The award named after a real journalist is going to a real journalist. I call him a walking encyclopaedia of film history. From Hollywood cinema to Indian cinema the history is on his fingertipsWith his superb oratory Randor Guy enthralled the gathering with anecdotes about his interaction with SPB's famous father S.P. Sambamurthy during his student days in Nellore when he acted in cameos in plays like Bhakta Ramadasu.

When he said that at times he felt that the father was more talented than the son, SPB had a hearty laugh and clapped.

The awards were in the form of a citation, a gold medal and a memento.

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