29 July, 2021

M.S. Subbulaksmi

"M.S. does not just sing; she makes divinity manifest"

M.S. Subbulaksmi

Madurai Shanmugavadivu Subbulakshmi started singing from an age when she probably found it difficult to even recite her own name in full. But the girl whose first solo recital was at the age of 10 went on to spread Carnatic music, still incomprehensible to western audiences, to the far corners of the world. As one admirer claimed: "M.S. does not just sing; she makes divinity manifest". Hindustani classical maestro Bade Ghulam Ali Khan called her "Suswaralakshmi Subbulakshmi" and Gandhiji was a great fan of her bhajans. She has a wide repertoire, from Telugu kritis to Marathi abhangs. M.S or Kunjamma, as she is widely known, links her art with a spiritual quest and beyond her music, it's her image of a sadhika that will endure the test of time. Extremely traditional and devout, she has lived a full life, even acting in films for eight years, and raised about Rs 30 million for charity through her concerts. She fills you with the same rapture when she sings a prayer at home, as she does on the concert stage with her final prayer, "Kurai onrum illai...

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