S.P. Balasubrahmanyam would have turned 75 yesterday. The day though turned out to be his birth anniversary after he passed away last September.
The association of playback singers in Malayalam cinema, SAMAM, came out with a live show on Facebook to pay a most melodious tribute to a singer who was a dear friend to some of them, a colleague to many and a much-admired icon to everyone of them.
Anoop Sankar, one of the biggest fans of SPB you would ever come across, coordinated the show. “We wanted to do something on his birth anniversary and we thought presenting his songs in our voices would be a fitting tribute to the legend,” says the Thrissur-based singer. “Some of us recorded the songs from our homes and we also used clippings from previously recorded television and live shows.”
The show got off on the perfect note with K.S. Chithra singing her soothingly sweet duet with Thoda thoda malarndhadhenna poove…, from the 1995 film Indira, which marked actress Suhasini’s debut as a director. Fittingly, she began with the portion of the song sung originally by SPB – Antha ila vayathil…
Chithra, as ever, was in top form while recreating the magic of the A.R. Rahman composition. She was followed by M.G. Sreekumar’s rendition of the biggest hit from Rahman’s collaboration with SPB – Kadhal rojave… (Roja).
The show, featuring 34 singers, lasted an hour and a half. The highlights included Mridula Warrier’s Anjali Anjali… (Duet)… Saritha Ram’s Malare mounamaa… (Karna), Ravi Shankar’s Paadu nilave… (Udaya Geetham) and
Rashmi Madhu’s Muthumani malai… (Chinna Gounder).
Rashmi said she recorded the song, on her mobile phone, during the little spare time she got during her duties as a doctor. “These days I have to work for 21 hours on some days, because there are COVID-19 patients at the hospital where I work,” she says. “I wanted to be part of the SPB tribute; I grew up in Chennai listening to him.”
You could watch the show here.