My first break - Swarnalatha

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How it happened

I was interested in singing, even as a three-year-old. I learnt Carnatic music from my sister Saroja and later from Ramachandra master. My family wanted me to sing in films, and I approached M. S. Viswanathan. He asked me to sing, and I sang his 'Pal Polave' from Uyarndha Manidhan. After a few days, he called me to sing 'Chinnanchiru Kiliye Kannamma' for Neethikku Thandanai. I was fortunate to sing a Bharathiar song as my first film number. And, then I sang 'Malaiyil Yaro Manathodu Pesa' for Ilaiyaraaja in Chathriyan. Both the songs gave me a good break.

How it felt

I was very excited to sing films songs, as that was my aim. Some of the best songsthat came my way were Ilaiyaraaja's 'Povoma Oorkolam' and 'Nee Enge Naan Ange'for Chinna Thambi. Till date, I've sung nearly 6,000 songs in Tamil, Telugu,Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi, Bengali and Badaga.

How life changed

There was not much change. I won the State and National Awards for 'PoraalePonnuthaayi' for Karuthamma. The song also happens to be my favourite. I wonalmost all awards in the State for the Chinna Thambi song. I look forwardto entertaining people with more songs.S.R. ASHOK KUMAR



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