Carnatic music icon, Bharat Ratna M.S. Subbulakshmi's birth centenary is being celebrated on Saturday. Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi, well known as MS, still lives in every household of India through her famous Sri Venkateswara Suprabhatam- 'Kousalya supraja Rama poorva sandhya pravarthathe'.
Subbulakshmi was born on September 16, 1916 in Madurai to veena player Shanmukavadiver Ammal and Subramania Iyer.
Her wide fanbase included political leaders and music maestros. On one occasion, Mahatma Gandhi said that if he speaks instead of singing 'Mere Bhajan' of Ms Subbulakshmi, 'Hari Jaan Ki Bheer', even then he will feel more harmonious than any other song. Lata Mangeshkar called her 'Tapaswini' , Kishori Amonkar has called her 'Eighth Sur', which is higher than seven songs of music.
Subbulakshmi also had a brief but noteworthy movie career - she acted five films, of which Ellis R Dungan directed three. Dungan directed Subbulakshmi in Sakuntalai (1940), Meera (1945) in Tamil and its Hindi version of the same name, made in 1947. Film historians consider Meera to be Subbulakshmi's best ever performance.
In 1974, she received the 'Ramon Magsaysay' award. In 1998, she was honoured with Bharat Ratna- the highest civilian award of India.
The United Nations issued a stamp to mark the birth centenary of M.S. Subbulakshmi during celebrations for India's Independence Day. India's Permanent Mission to the UN also organised a photo exhibition from August 15-19 at the world body's headquarters in her honour.
Subbulakshmi in her iconic pose
She performed at the UN fifty years ago, making her the first Indian to have the honour. In 1998, Subbulakshmi was honoured with Bharat Ratna.
With husband Kalki Sadasivam
In July 1936, Sadasivam met M.S. Subbulakshmi, who subscribed to his ideological and political views. The two eventually married on 10 July 1940.
Subbulakshmi as 'Meera'
Subbulakshmi acted in five films. She acted in Tamil movie 'Meera' directed by American national Ellis R Dungan.
UN postage stamp in honour of Subbulakshmi
On 1st October, the UN released a postage stamp to honour Carnatic singer MS Subbulakshmi, to commemorate her birthday as well as the 50th anniversary of her performance in the UN.
Courtesy: PTI photo
Commemoration of the birth centenary
Noted Musician A R Rahman and his troupe perform at the UN General Assembly Hall on the occasion of India's 70th Independence Day and commemoration of the birth centenary of music legend M S Subbulakshmi at United Nations General Assembly in 2016
Courtesy: PTI photo