While there have been voices that have enthralled audience, kept them in spell bound attention or made them break out into a chorus, if there was one voice moved hearts and echoed compassion and love for mankind it was undoubtedly the mellifluous and divine voice of Shrimathi M.S Subbulakshmi, the nightingale of India. Known fondly as MS Amma to millions of her fans and admirers, she mesmerized her audience and transformed them to another world, with her mastery over the ragas and the finer nuances of rendering them.
While she was the unquestioned supremo of classical music who straddled the world of music like a colossus, she was also a simple, down to earth, warm human being with no trace of vanity or pride that such glory brought along with it. MS Amma had a deep empathy for social causes and compassion for alleviating suffering and effectively used the power and reach of her voice to spread awareness on social causes and raise funds to support them and various charitable initiatives. Her jam packed concerts held worldwide helped in raising humanitarian relief for a myriad of causes ranging from rehabilitation of flood/famine victims, support of orphanages/old age shelters to raising funds for the nation’s war effort.
MS Amma and her husband Shri Sadasivam had a special place in their heart for Sankara Nethralaya and its Mission; they shared a warm personal relationship with its Founder Dr SS.Badrinath and Dr Vasanthi Badrinath. The noble couple have graced and blessed many functions and initiatives at Sankara Nethralaya and have performed several concerts in Chennai, Mumbai and the US in aid of Sankara Nethralaya, which have helped in raising a significant volume of funds to support the noble cause of the institution they cherished. They have also bequeathed the royalty accruing from the sale of some of their popular and fast selling records towards the same. Sankara Nethralaya has been receiving a substantial amount from HMV and subsequently Sa Re Ga Ma the companies which own the audio rights of these evergreen classics.
‘Katrin Kural’a musical extravaganza produced as a rich tribute to the legend by Vijay TV came as a good opportunity to Sankara Nethralaya to express its gratitude and fond remembrance of one of its strongest supporters and well wishers , which it did wholeheartedly by sponsoring the same. We take great pleasure in sharing some of most memorable, melodious moments that we cherish, especially with our young readers.
We take this opportunity to share, especially with our young viewers a rare gem from MS Amma’s virtuoso performances, the amazing rendition of the invocation song in 5 languages at the 6th Afro Asian Congress of Ophthalmology held at Madras in 1976, which she did at the request of Dr SS.Badrinath the founder of Sankara Nethralaya