Song of Surrender

Monday, 21 March 2016

MS and evensong

By Sreemathy Mohan

Malai Pozhudinile, an interesting programme at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore, conceived, scirpted, directed and narrated by Gowri Ramnarayan, gave insights into MS Subbulakshmi's association with Bharatanatyam..

Less known facts about the legend from MSS's grandniece Gowri Ramnarayan, songs by Nisha Rajagoplan, the tall and slim Priyadarshini Govind's expressive dance completely in line with the theme, and music left the audience in the jam packed auditorium wanting more. That was  the MS effect!

Some highlights:
1.  A song which lightened the mood of a morose Mahatma Gandhi and made him smile and clap Ghanshyam ayari composed by Dinesh Nandini for the film, Meera. MS sang it extempore when her family visited Gandhi.

2. MS used to sing for the young Bharatanatyam duo of daughter Radha and Kalki's daughter Anandhi . She taught them the sancharis for the songs as well. The whole family would have a great time singing with the girls dancing during their vacation at Kutralam.

3. When the girls's arangetram was scheduled, MS gave strict instructions to the in-house tailor at Kalki Gardens to make the costumes just like Rukmini Devi's and not like a flashy cinema costume. ( finally she brought out a beautiful blue and gold sari that she had worn in Meera and gave it to the tailor. The tailor was so reluctant to cut that resplendent tissue sari).

4. She and young Balasaraswati were childhood friends and used to sing and dance together. MS advised Anandhi and Radha to follow the expressions of Bala's in the padam Theruvil Vaarano.

5. An interesting story of how she learnt the Tulsidas bhajan, Kahan ke patak from Devadas Gandhi, who was actually teaching Anandhi. MS eagerly came along and learnt the song along with the kids, and finally chiselled it to perfection,

6. Kalki composed Malai pozhudinile as a special song for Radha and Anandhi's Bharatanatyam - in response to MS's request for a song just .  to compose one just like Poonkuil solaiyil, the song he wrote for DK Pattammal. We all left the hall humming Malaipozhidinele.

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