03 August, 2021

Song On The Breeze

Trained in the devadasi's shringara bhava, MS became the epitome of the bhakti bhava

Avinash Pasricha
Song On The Breeze
"Kaatriniley varum geetam..." And, having come on the crest of a breeze redolent with an erotic charge and having touched us all with the colour and romance of spring, the moisture of electric monsoons and the shiver of a naughty winter chill, the song has now coasted back, as tenderly, to the unknown forests of magic and surges of the ocean from where it originally stirred awake.

And as the dulcet voice of Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulaksmi returned to 'samam', short of midnight on Saturday, December 11, rare would be those familiar with her oeuvre who did not feel a personal sense of loss. Rare would be those in hundreds of thousands of homes, across South India at least, who did not, on Sunday morning, get a lump in their throats playing her eponymous Venkateshwara Suprabhatam or the equally rich Meenakshi, Kamakshi and Vishwanatha suprabhatams. Or the Annamacharya kritis in Bhowli or Ragamalika. Or the deeply devotional Vishnu Sahasranamam.

Those familiar with the hedonistic chemistry of her throaty alaps, embellished by an easy abundance of bhrigas (range...

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