CELEBRATION The third anniversary of msvtimes.com was a gala event.

The third anniversary of msvtimes.com was a mega event compared to their modest outing in the past year. Infosys Hall in T.Nagar was a beehive of activity as it geared up for the arrival of imposing personalities – Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna, AVM Saravanan, Vani Jairam, Aruna Sairam and a host of others, besides the composer for all seasons, M.S. Viswanathan, who entered the podium with T.K. Ramamurthy.

The guests of honour converged on the scene one by one and Y.Gee. Mahendra's Melody Makers were tuned in to present a line-up of MSV's all time hits.

Time was at a premium because the event began well past the scheduled hour. All the same ‘Thumba' Sekar kept the audience engaged with anecdotes that had happened during MSV's recording sessions. He mentioned the amazing percussion arrangements for the ‘Thaedinaen Vandadhu' (‘Ooty Varai Uravu') and ‘Sambo Siva Sambo' (‘Ninaithaalae Inikkum') pieces. “None has been able to equal Noel Grant, our drummer,” he noted.

Later, the Bossa Nova beats that revved up the ‘Velli Kinnam' number (‘Uyarndha Manidhan') were brought out beautifully on the bongos by Babu, a percussion ace, and a showcase of MSV's use of the trumpet and sax in the song made the fans dizzy with joy!

Crisp speeches

Speeches had to be succinct was the unsaid request and most of them acceded. “They are creators,” said Balamuralikrishna referring to MSV and TKR, “like Tyagaraja.”

It was a treat to listen to him sing a couple of lines of the ever-mesmerising ‘Thanga Radham Vandhadhu …' (‘Kalaikkovil'), TKR's ‘Arulvaayae Nee …' (‘Saadhu Mirandaal') and, on the crowd's request, the first line of the ‘Thiruvilaiyaadal' hit, ‘Oru Naal Podhuma.' “I've acted in a film too, as Narada. Typecasting is a bane in cinema. Once you don a particular role you are offered the same over and over again. Another sore point was Narada doesn't have a romantic pair,” laughed Balamurali. AVM.Saravanan was succinct, but S.P.Muthuraman had quite a lot to say.

Fans all over the globe contribute regularly to the MSV website. The book – ‘A Music Bridge between Millennia' -- a compilation of the writings of MSV fans edited by Raman, an msvtimes enthusiast, was released on the occasion. P.B. Srinivos and violinist-composer Shyam Joseph were honoured.

The reactions of the composers and singers present, as they listened to the numbers rendered, were interesting. You could make out when MSV enjoyed his creations presented on stage and also when he didn't. Vani Jairam's concentration was tremendous. You wondered what was going through her mind as she listened with eyes closed, to her inimitable high-pitched piece, ‘Pongum Kadalosai,' whose music arrangement took you to a tumultuous sea far away!

Bringing such eminent names together on a podium is a herculean task – it was! And when things are envisaged on a large scale glitches are bound to occur -- they did! Yet despite the anxiety writ on the faces of the organisers such as Vaidy, Sabesan and Ramki, at the end of the day, the spirit and sentiment that bound lovers of the legend's music together alone mattered.