An unforgettable interview with SP Balasubrahmanyam in Coimbatore when the singer sang for a scribe

How the singer warmed as much as journalists, and generally even sang a few traces solely for them

July 28, 2006 was a fortunate day for me. My favorite singer SP Balasubrahmanyam was in city for a live performance and I reached the live performance venue at Perks School grounds in Coimbatore early sufficient, hoping to get an unique interview with him. As anticipated, the occasion organisers turned down my request, however I used to be not going to let go. I sat in the entrance row, mesmerised, as he sang a few of his gems like ‘Sangeetha Megham’, ‘Idhu Oru Ponmalai’ and ‘Kaeladi Kanmani’.

During a break between the songs, I clambered on to the stage and whispered my request to him. SPB promised to fulfill me at his lodge after the live performance. He saved his phrase, and greeted me with his trademark smile and a “Thanks for your patience.”

That was the begin of my 40-minute dialog with the legendary singer. “Even today, I have a thousand butterflies in my stomach before every song,” he informed me. This was the identical singer who had already gained six nationwide awards, was in the Guinness Book of World Records for having recorded over 36,000 songs, had a profitable innings as a dubbing artiste, was an actor, and a composer. When he handed away, he had had sung about 42,000 songs in over 16 languages.

He spoke of his favourites — the national-award successful, ‘Sankara Nadha Shareera’ from Shankarabharanam and the Ilaiyaraaja composition, ‘Sundari Kannaal’, composed in Mumbai with late music director RD Burman’s orchestra. SPB smiled as he remembered how after the recording, the troupe gave the composer a standing ovation. ‘Kaeladi Kanmani’ from the movie Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal is one in all his top-100 favorite songs. He stated it was an ‘extraordinary composition’ of Ilaiyaraaja and described it, “a thesis that can be presented at the Trinity College for learners.”

I made it a level to be at as many live shows as potential when he was in city. And each time, the expertise was thrilling and transferring at the identical time as a result of he had such a cheery presence and highly effective efficiency on stage.

His stage performances largely began with ‘Sangeetha Megam’ from Udhaya Geetham. During a live performance as soon as, a lot to the consternation of the gathering, it started drizzling. SPB simply smiled and warranted the viewers, “It’s His blessings; don’t worry, it will rain only after 9.30 pm after the show is over.”

There are many reminiscences, however there’s one specific one that’s particular. On the night of my interview with him, SPB’s group saved urging him to have dinner and relaxation. But he continued chatting with me. At the finish, I requested him if he would sing a few traces for me, and… he did. The melodious ‘Nilavey Vaa’ solely for me.

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