Great Indians - M. S. Subbulaxmi
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Great Indians> M. S. Subbulaxmi
M. S. Subbulaxmi
(Queen of Classical Music)

M. S. Subbulaxmi was the Queen of Carnatik classical music. She played Sarod and had won millions of hearts. Once, India’s first Prime Minister Pt. Jahawarlal Nehru on hearing her music in a musical concert stood giving congratulations, said “what I am! Just a Prime Minister infront of Queen of Music!”

Subbulaxmi was born in 1916 at Madurai in South India. Her mother was also a dedicated musician. Subbulaxmi, inherited mother’s quality. She initially assisted her mother in the musical concerts at Meenakshi temple. At the age of seventeen, she sang in Madras Music Academy and became famous as a singer. She married Sh. T. Sadashivam at the age of 24.

She wore a big bindi on her forehead, nosepins on both sides and a white garland in hand. In 1943 she spread her musical fragrance, singing in All India Musical Conference. She also acted and sang in film ‘Meera’ and got appreciation for it.

She excelled in Carnatic Music. She sang ‘Bhajans of Meera’ in such a charming way that people felt Meera herself was singing her Bhajans. Once Gandhiji requested her to sing a song on his 78th birthday ‘Hari Turn Haro Jan Ki Pir’. In 1966 when she sang in America on the invitation of the General Secretary of Common Wealth, audience was mesmerised with her melodius music and was quoted ‘She came, sang and won hearts of people’. According to Subbulaxmi, music is the way to reach God and triggers great actions.

Subbulaxmi won many awards. In 1954 she was conferred with Padma Bhushan, Sangeet Natak Academy Award. She was the first lady to be awarded with ‘Sangeet Kalanidhi Award’. She used to be called the ambassodar of Indian Music to foreign countries. In 1974 she was conferred ‘Ramon Magsaysay Award’ and in 1998 ‘Bharat Ratna’.

The renowared Carnatic Vocalist left this world on December 11, 2004 at the age of 88 years. She was widely honoured, praised and awarded. Lata Mangeshkar called her ‘Tapaswini’. Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan termed her ‘Suswar Lakshmi’.