" M.S. was my icon."
MSSubbulakshmi_sm.jpg (18320 bytes) "I first saw MS on the silver screen in the movie 'Shakuntala' made in 1939/40 when I was in Tanjore and aged about 5. I saw the movie about 10 times, bought the 78 rpm records and 'byhearted' almost all the songs and imagined I was her. She was my icon. I met MS in person around 1942 when my father was transferred from Tanjore to Madras and she came home accompanied by Sadhashivan, Radha, Vijaya and the clan. It was a dream come true for me. She sang " Yaro Ivar Yaro" for us. It was beautiful; she was beautiful ! She was 26 and I was 8 then. My father made me imitate MS in Shakuntala singing "Anandame". Only my age could have dared me to do something like that, but I did. There were several occasions thereafter when our families would meet. MS even sang at my eldest sister Ranjini's wedding. She wore my "Manga Malai" for one of her "Meera shoots" ".
One of the factors for mentioning MS in these "Reflections" is there was more common bonding than this. Radha, MS's daughter and Anandhi, Kalki's daughter both learnt from Vazhvoor Ramiah Pillai. MS and Hema shared a common music Guru, Mayavaram Krishna Iyer. Musiri Subramania Iyer who was one of MS'S music friends and mentor also taught Hema and her sister. Mayavaram Krishna Iyer was himself taught by Vidwan Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer who was the main guru for Hema and her sister.

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