Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Meeting a Legend

Thanks to my neighbour Jayashree, on Valentine's day I was lucky to get a free ticket to watch the legend S P Balasubramanyam live at a concert in Kamarajar Arangam. I last watched him at the O.A.T at I.I.T, Madras, in the early 90's in an unforgettable Gangai Amaran concert. After all these years SPB sounds as young as ever. The audio at the venue was bad but SPB's voice and singing, his on-stage humour, extreme modesty and the way he was managing things on stage including the musicianas and goof-ups by his co-singers were beyond belief. The concert was almost three hours long though I didn't stay to watch the final three songs.

But I had another big reason to go to the concert when I was told I could meet him personally. Midway between the concert I had the privilege to meet and take a couple of pictures with the legend. It was not a regular big break. Instead SPB was meeting the long line of folks like a Godman giving Darshan, while taking breaks from his singing, backstage. I was sad I missed taking his autograph.

From the directions of the faces in the picture you can guess how many cameras were being clicked at any instant.

In this next picture (taken using my camera) I am hidden but it feels good to watch SPB looking at me in the eye and saying something (don't ask what he was saying).

With over 36,000 songs sung in various Indian languages, to me SPB will always be the greatest male voice from India, in film music. He has ABSOLUTELY no equal, not even someone close.

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