About MS blue and more

Saashwathi Prabhu at the special recital.

Saashwathi Prabhu at the special recital.  

Speakers at the MS centenary celebrations, narrated interesting anecdotes.

Which artist had the honour of a colour being named after her? An exquisite inky shade of blue, used in saris woven especially for her by Kancheepuram Muthu Chettiar, that was called ‘MS Blue’ — the legendary MS Subbulakshmi. This information came from Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti, who recalled those beautiful rudraksha rettai peth saris that the vocalist used to wear.

Kuppuswami Chetti was speaking recently at Krishna Gana Sabha's MS centenary celebrations. He recalled that Muthu Chettiar gave up his family business of weaving and became a disciple of musician Naina Pillai. He returned to the family profession, after his guru died. That was when he started making saris for M.S. and ‘MS Blue’ became a famous creation of his.

He added, “The craftsmen preserve the details of the mixtures used to get a colour. That is how it was possible now to make 100 saris in MS blue that were sent to the US for the centenary celebrations.”

Others who spoke on the occasion were Guru Karaikudi R. Mani and K.Vaidyanathan (Editor, Dinamani). K.V. Prasad, who provided mridangam accompaniment to MS for several years was feted.

Karaikudi Mani, who had also accompanied MS on the mridangam for about eight years, spoke emotionally of how the couple (MS and Sadasivam) would take care of the entourage while travelling for concerts, and their several charitable endeavours.

Speaking next, Vaidyanathan extolled the achievements of MS. Next came Saashwathi Prabhu's recital.

Starting with ‘Vathapi Ganapathim (Hamsadwani), she followed it with a bhava-laden ‘Annapoorne’ in Dwijavanthi. ‘Parathpara’ in Vachaspathi was a precursor to a well-rounded Sankarabharanam raga alapana with several sparkling phrases on the tara sthayi gandhara. She took up Swati Tirunal's ‘Saroja dalanetri’ and ended with kalpanaswaras. She concluded with some of MS’s famous songs such as ‘Katrinile,’ ‘Bhaja Govindam,’ and ‘Kurai ondrum illai.’

Padma Shankar (violin), K.V. Prasad (mridangam), V.Anirudh Athreya (ganjira) and Nagarathnam (manjira) provided good support.

Renuka Suryanarayan

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 2:49:24 PM |

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