SPB a person who was close to his roots

His childhood friend says that SPB was loved by everyone in his native village Konetampettai, located in Tiruvallur district.

Updated - September 25, 2020 07:45 pm IST

Published - September 25, 2020 04:48 pm IST - CHENNAI:

SPB refused formalities when villagers tried to garland him, instead he garlanded the seniors in the village.

SPB refused formalities when villagers tried to garland him, instead he garlanded the seniors in the village.

Climbing trees, plucking mangoes, going to each other’s house in their native village Konetampettai - these are some of the memories that remain afresh in the mind of P. Subramani alias Chittamutti - the childhood friend of S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, fondly called as Mani in his village.

“We went around the village together. Mani’s mother Shakuntala known as Chinnama used to call me Chittamutti and the entire village knows me by that name now. He was loved by everyone in the hamlet. He bore my daughter’s medical expenses,” recalls Mr. Subramani who still lives in Konetampettai located in Tiruvallur district.


After news about the singer’s death came out in the media, he has been inconsolable. It is not just him; a pall of gloom has descended upon the Konetampettai village, his mother Shakuntala’s native village. “We met him when he came to our village a few years ago,” says Jayamma, Mr. Subramani’s daughter-in-law.

The entire village recalls him as humble, friendly and as a person who never forgot his roots. “He used to periodically ask about every detail about the Konetampettai hamlet. Our families are very close,” says Rajendra Prasad, his family friend.

He recalls that whenever villagers went to invite him to the hamlet for a function, he would ask what he could do for the village. “His last visit was in August 2018 and he helped build toilets for the school and a RO Plant. He was a very punctual person. Now the entire village is sad to have lost him. Many have been crying since Thursday night when news that he was critical reached us,” he explains.

A. Bhanumurthy, Mr. Subrahmanyam’s cousin, said that they were like Arjuna and Krishna. “The last time I spoke to him was on September 12. I asked him when he was getting discharged and he said he was feeling better,” he recalls. He says that his cousin could never hurt anybody, even if it was an enemy. “He will mingle with everyone right from the Prime Minister to an ordinary man,” he says.

SPB no more: Film industry, leaders pay tribute

An ardent lover of cricket, tennis and reading, SPB was a keen observer too. “He was an authority in Telugu pronunciation. He could sing in any language. He always showed the keenness and the dedication of a student even till recently. He wanted to rebuild his house in the village and had even approved the plan,” he adds.

His loss has left many speechless. “All the music lovers are in tears. We have lost a great person. Our village will miss him very much,” says Mr. Rajendra Prasad.

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