Observations NCS’s passing away is a loss to the Carnatic music world. Some eminent personalities share their impressions.
These artists touched on many facets of N.C. Soundaravalli. Excerpts:
Bombay Sisters : We were of the same age group and started learning music around the same time but different styles. NCS was a very good singer and from the school-level, we used to compete with each other in different competitions.
She was a noble soul and our relationship covers six decades She was depressed after her husband passed away. So we encouraged her to continue with her music, which was her ‘handy medicine’ and through it she could get peace of mind.
Neyveli Santhana Gopalan: ‘The Vengala Kural of NCS’ that I started listening to on AIR from day one was the very same till the end, which covered over four decades.
An excellent organiser, she had helped in staging several concerts of senior vidwans at the Triplicane Parthasarathi Temple. I remember her listening with rapt attention and appreciating the performance of each vidwan.
When she sang, there was no confusion as the Raga Devatha would emerge clearly in all her glory. It is a great loss to the field, Triplicane, in particular, has been orphaned.
Dr. N. Ramani: Music was her life. I would be spell bound during her concerts at Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha and listening to her cassettes. The bhaava was so moving.
I feel sad that at a time when she deserved to be conferred with several titles, she is not there to receive them. Her passing away is a great loss to the Carnatic music world.
Guruvayur Durai: I was her accompanist in several concerts. She was endowed with ‘vivekam’ and was very kind to her ‘pakka vadhyakaras,’ and every one like her. As a committee member of Indian Fine Arts Society I had also interacted with her a lot. It is a pity that her talents were not fully utilised.
Sudharani Raghupathy: She belonged to the respected ‘Nallaan Chakravarthy’ family. A musician of great merit, she never craved for publicity. Perhaps, that is why she did not get the recognition she deserved.
Gayathri Girish: A staunch Vaishnavite, she cleared my doubts on the subject with in-depth responses during an interaction I had with her in my school days. I sang Pancharatna kritis with her at Tiruvaiyaru for several years. She stuck to sampradhaya and never compromised on musical values. She was a specialist on Alwar Pasurams.
A warm person, she would listen to and give feedback on my AIR concerts.
M. Chandrasekaran: NCS was dignity personified. I knew her since 1977, when she used to sing with Maharajapuram Santhanam and I would accompany them on the violin.
Maharajapuram Srinivasan: NCS was my father’s devoted student. She would practise until she got the rendering in the perfect Maharajapuram style.
My father was proud and happy to be present during the release of NCS’s Karumariamman and Parthasarathy Suprabatham cassettes.
She did yeoman service to the music world for over four decades.
K.S. Rangachari: Magnanimous, she would give her accompanists, including me, a free hand. I would happily play the ganjira without tension. Although she was only three years younger to me she would seek my blessings.
Once when I went to attend my neighbour’s wedding reception, NCS was getting ready for her concert. On seeing me, she asked me to join her. As my house was nearby, I got my ganjira and accompanied her. She gave me a handsome remuneration. It is not often that one comes across such kindness and spontaneity.
Veeramani Somu: NCS was a complete vidwan. She sang several of my compositions of which ‘Parthasarathy Kan Paar Dhayanidhi’ in Abhogi , ‘Vandhu Nindraan Kannan’ (Parthasarathyin Kesathi Paadham) in Ragamalika, ‘Pazhamuthircholai’ in Khamas and ‘Sundaramayil Yerum’ in Ragamalika, are hits. Compassionate, she would bring food for the entire orchestra during recordings.