Kerala

Elappully mourns its illustrious son M.S. Viswanathan

The house where musician M.S. Viswanathan was born and spent his first eight years is now in shambles at Elappully, near Palakkad. Photo: K. K. Mustafah

The house where musician M.S. Viswanathan was born and spent his first eight years is now in shambles at Elappully, near Palakkad. Photo: K. K. Mustafah  

The ancestral house where M.S. Viswanathan was born and spent his first eight years is in shambles now.

The ancestral house where M.S. Viswanathan was born and spent his first eight years is in shambles now.

The school where he got elementary education even while fighting poverty and misfortunes that haunted his family is now struggling hard to survive for want of required students. But memories of South India’s most celebrated music director and composer are still lingering in this leafy remote village close to the Palakkad-Pollachi highway.

“MSV visited the village and interacted with us only six months ago. He even conducted a music programme on the local temple premises. In a way, it was his farewell gift to the village,” recalls octogenarian P. Rajeevakshan, a close friend of the musician from his elementary school days.

“He never wanted to return permanently to the village and settle down here. He visited us at regular intervals and interacted with us. He told me on many occasions that it was the memories of his mother which forced him to visit the village frequently,” says Mr. Rajeevakshan.

A distant relative Annalakshmi, in her seventies, said renovating the ancestral house was one of the unfulfilled dreams of Viswanathan. “He always spoke to us on the need to renovate the house where he lost his father. He was very passionate in renovating the house as it symbolised the trials and tribulations his mother went through in bringing up the child following the death of his father,” says Annalakshmi.

His niece Radhama used to stay there till her death three years ago.

Whenever at Elappully, Viswanathan preferred to stay with Mr. Rajeevakshan and his family. “He has no family history of music. However, his father Subramanian used to sing. He may have inspired the child prodigy,” E. Jayachandran, a social worker, said.

After the death of his father and sister, Viswanathan’s mother Narayanikutty decided to commit suicide by jumping into a tank. It was sheer poverty and ill luck that forced her to attempt suicide along with the kid. It was a discussion between them on who would jump first that delayed the process. By then, his grandfather reached the spot and spoiled the attempt. After that, his uncle Appa Nair took him to Chennai, where Viswanathan became an integral part of south Indian music.

MSV's musical journey

>A Charitra to rave about

It is not just for many of his evergreen songs, but also for the State song of the Government of Tamil Nadu the — Neerarum Kadalodutha — MSV will ever be part of the Tamil psyche.

>Celebrities pay last respects to MSV

In the Tamil film music world, no other composer was as diverse as MSV was and he had composed music for over 1,700 films in Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada.

>Veteran musician M.S. Viswanathan passes away

M.S. Viswanathan, in spite of his relatively small body of work in Telugu films, had a matchless measure of class. The range of his scores in Telugu films is a statement of its own kind.



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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 2:06:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/elappully-mourns-its-illustrious-son/article7423568.ece

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