MS, we miss you

December 11, 2006

Collage: RK 

It was two years ago, on this day, that the world of music lost a legendary singer, simply known as MS. In a career spanning more than six decades, Subbulakshmi accomplished more than anyone else in her generation to enrich and popularise India’s musical tradition. She was perhaps the only Carnatic singer who was widely liked and admired in northern India, where mostly Hindustani music, displaying Arabic and Iranian influences, is practised. She introduced the rhythms and richness of Carnatic music to the west through her concerts at the Edinburgh Festival (1963), the UN (1966) and the Festival of India in London in 1982.

Both as a performer and a public figure, she represented the best in traditional and modern Indian values – grace, humility and humanity. Her silk saris, the way she put flowers in her hair, her turmeric-washed face and the serenity she exuded during her concerts all pointed to a person of rare dignity. Her innate belief in God and musical search for the spiritual was equalled by her inspiring commitment to her art.

Indeed, we miss the great soul.

Also read:
MS: Music Sublime As I sang, tears rolled down her eyes…

20 Responses to “MS, we miss you”

  1. praneshachar Says:

    nanu nanna helike regarding time sense nimma yella post galu
    samayakke sariyagi baruttave nivu nijavagalu nanage snhitarigi sikkiddu bhagyave sari.
    MS was a legendary singer jewel among the crown a great human being. I even now remember the year 1964 when she came to Hampi to participate in Sri Purandarasasara 400year celbarations I was just a boy of 9 years even now my memories went back to that pendal etc., the moment I read this
    Sri Sri Jayacmranjendra wadeyar the then governor of Mysore also came for that function it was a even to remeber but now I am not seeing purandara dasara aradhane in that big scale even though some thing is being done now by various people
    there is a need to consolidate and do at one place i.e. purnadaradasara mantapa at Hampi like the one being done for saint Tygaraja in TN. what are views of people on this?
    bellur nimma anisikegalanna pennisi sir tappade

  2. praneshachar Says:

    nande modala mattu yeradene post aitu ivattu
    Hampi purandaradasar mantapada hattira ithichina dinagallaii ondu controversy shuruvagide suddenly I was told one darga has taken birth and it has created some ill will among the people. If we don’t protect our monuments in the right way anything can happen we were invaded by various people at various times mainly because of the not protecting our property our rights etc., this is a general feeling not aganist any body. what happened to purandradasa mantapa can also happen to any temeplr or church or masjid or to any hostorical monument if not taken care properly

  3. My salutes to the great & unique (‘Anupama’) singer.. We can never forget her voice & another few generations too. She has created that mark in everybody’s heart. Her VenkaTesha suprabhaata is heard everyday from many of us…
    Bellur, you are really lucky to having attended her concerts.. I am fortunate in a way, I was born in the ERA when she was alive for some years & I have witnessed many of her concerts which were aired & I have collections which reminds her sweet voice.
    Onde ondu last comment.. avara mukhadallidda souwjanya maatra ellargu iralla.. ontara nodidre daivataa kaLe… Great looks also…

  4. Vani Says:


    Ashru-Namana for that great soul.

    There is a saying in sanskrit that is associated with the best of things

    “Na Bhooto Na Bhavishyati”. I think nothing else fits MS like the above saying. Doubtless, Another MS will never be born.

    Lucky you are that you spoke to “Amma”, and lucky we are, that we saw and heard this legend enthrall the world with her golden voice.

  5. travel plaza Says:

    An apt tribute RK. As Vani says, there never will be another MS. Her voice was simply divine and her face, actually her whole personality always exuded a quiet dignity and beauty.

  6. Praveen GK Says:

    I think the greatest legend of Carnatic music. She is truly a divine being. We have grown up hearing to MS in the mornings….Nothing can beat that in life!!!!

  7. praneshachar Says:

    I was thrilled when I went thro your visit to great legendary’s house in connection with presenting her a award. It is great you sang two songs for her in her own house and got the blessings of the one and only MS a great human being an ardent lover of music and a very humble human being. we are lucky we have born during her period. It was great experience to read your descriptive narration and I was emotionas and tears rolled down my eyes as I know you now so closely
    RK or Bellur we all are proud of you yor are an icon and the interest of you in variety of subjects is amazing you are a genius accoring to me and a JNANAKOSHA
    nimage a bhawantha innu hecchina shakiti kodali inthaha karygalannu innu hecchu hecchu madi
    barthini it is early in the morning and I am browsing and very happy to read this pious article on a pious lady a legend on a morning what a day to start
    namaskara yellarigu mattu shubhodaya a very good morning to all

  8. decemberstud Says:


    A fitting tribute to one of the greatest artistes the country has seen !!!

    Unfortunately, whenever I think of her, I cannot sit but imagine the plight of MS’ husband’s first wife. I know, I know, it’s all personal and my ‘duty’ should just be to listen to MS’ enchanting music and not care about her personal life. Still….

  9. rk Says:

    great to know that you had attended the 1964 hampi utsava. and thanks for sharing those moments with us. afaik, purandara dasara aradhane is celebrated on a grand scale at mulbagilu (kolar dist.) in ‘purandara bhavana’. apart from noted musicians, connoisseurs, students and lovers of music, classes as well as masses attend this festival every year. there are many other sabhas that celebrate purandara dasara aradhane in bangalore and in different parts of karnataka. in srirangapattana, this is a much awaited event every year.
    yes, your suggestion that it will be nice to do it in one place on a grand scale is good. but thinking of practical problems, i also don’t mind if smaller groups celebrate in in a thousand places, thus propogating music to different corners and taking it to people who cannot afford to travel to far off places but are eager to listen to devaranamas, which is what sri purandara dasaru did.

    wrt to the darga coming up in hampi near the purandara mantapa, this is news to me! hope it doesn’t become an issue.

    khanditha nija. avara mukhdalli ‘tejas’ itthu.

    we are indeed fortunate to have heard and seen this noble soul. thanks to modern technology, future generations can also hear her voice.

    thanks. i agree with what you have said about MS Amma.

    true. listening to her hymns first thing in the morning is one of the best ways to start off your day.

    saar, jaasthi hogalabedi. maigaagalla. adhikke laayakkoo alla naanu. nimma aashirvada irli nammelaramelu. vandanegalu.

    where gossip has been shown to be mere speculation is in the case of sadasivam’s first wife – Apithakuchambal (Apitha). If one person were to be conspicuously absent from the hundreds of articles that have appeared about MS and Sadasivam, it is she. before reading the book “MS: A Life in Music” by T. J. S. George, I had never seen her name in print. if not as the woman whose place MS took, Apitha deserves to be known as at least the mother of radha and vijaya. george should be commended for unearthing at least a little information about the unfortunate life of someone “turned into an unperson, a nonentity”. george’s recounting of the events between 1936, when MS moved in with Sadasivam, and 1939, when Apitha died, a depressed and bitter woman, has hopefully put an end to various rumours about sadasivam’s role in Apitha’s death.

    and just to think from the other angle…..what would have been MS’ plight without sadasivam!? because if MS has a certain public image today, it is largely if not completely due to sadasivam.

  10. praneshachar Says:

    manasige mudavaddannu heluva antha helthini nimage idarinda irisu murusu adre kadme madona bidi yake sankocha
    nanu kelavu salu bariyuvaga emotional agbidthini
    anyhow you deserve all I have said matte yen yochane madbedi bidi matte hogalike shuraithu antha all the best

  11. rk Says:

    irs-murs alla sir…..sankocha aagatte neev hoglidre…..yakendre nanagintha arharaadavaru bahala jana idaare illi.
    bhagavantha ellarigu olithu maadli
    inthi nimma vishwasi

  12. prashanth Says:

    thts a wonderful tribute RK.. nice collage

  13. TSSM Says:

    A blessed soul and a blessed devotee.

  14. praneshachar Says:

    wpnderful you have said everthing in four key words

  15. decemberstud Says:


    True…didn’t want to start a discussion on MS’ personal life here, so didn’t touch much upon it. But, you have rightly said that at least Apitha deserved to be known, her story to be told. You are right that MS probably won’t be as great without her husband (again, probably), but for a few people, that was totally not worth it. Anyways….

  16. DS.. I know why you blog annonymous now. There was absolutely no need to comment it out. Honestly.. Sorry !

  17. decemberstud Says:


    Honestly, I did not understand what you meant. Can you please explain ?

  18. […] Also read: MS, we miss you […]

  19. Dear All

    This is my blog on Bharat Ratna and Nightingale of India Srimati M.S.Subbulakshi garu (M.S.Amma).

    Please explore my blog on M.S.Amma and share your comments.

    Warm regards
    Dokka Srinivasu

    • samaganam Says:

      How wonderful sir,Wanted you to write something on MS amma and this one came up as the most recently commented upon.Is it a “dream or vishnu maya”?

      Since you met her in person,can you please explain how MS amma was?was she like all grandmas,thin and those zari bordered cotton sarees?

      I completely agree that grandmas read religious books so much that they stain every one of it with oil.Dont we love them more than our own parents?

      But ya,can you please say a few words about her,if you can get some time,I will imagine I have read a holy text.


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