Ms a life in music

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ms a life in music

MS, A Life In Music by T.J.S. George

MS, to me and to several others exposed to her mellifluous voice and divine rendition, is synonymous with devotion. A certain sense of peace pervades your being as you lose yourself to her singing. Little did I know that underlying that serenity were stormy forces and scandalous events that made MS a household name in south India.

In this biography, MS - A life in Music, author T.J.S. George has done a phenomenal job of writing the life story of MS in the context of the societal norms, the evolution of performing arts not only in Tamil Nadu but rest of the country, and the people in the life of MS - notably her mom Shanmughavadivu, her husband Sadasivam, and her contemporaries.

I confess that half way through the book, a part of me wished that I had not started this book because I was worried that I would feel let down - I would form impressions of MS that I didn’t want to. But I am glad that I persisted because the rest of the book so beautifully reinforced how that her enablers (her mom and her husband) may have made calculated moves to make MS popular but MS was untouched by it. From the beginning till her end, MS did what she knew best - being true to her music. With passion. With discipline. And devotion. Nothing else mattered.

If you heart MS or are a music lover, this is the book for you. You will not only end up learning more about the legend but become more knowledgeable about the dynamics that shaped the carnatic music through generations.

I leave you with few lines from the book that tugged at my heartstrings.

Her involved non-involvement, her detached attachment somehow enhanced her beatific profile. She was Sadasivams wife, Rajajis disciplie, Kalki Krishnamurthis friend, but she was always MS. In the end, she herself was her music and her bhakthi. In the end she attained what the people around her seemed to miss - a sense of fulfillment. Sadasivam was successful and devout, but did he find ultimate fulfilment? Rajaji stayed for long at the top of political and social pyramids, but did he find the satisfaction of the true achiever?

A look at MS was enough to convince anyone that she had found herself. When she sang the Rajaji hymn Kurai ondrum illai it was like she was telling the world about herself and thanking her god for his blessings. One word occurred frequently in the language of those who met MS in her later years: Glow. Everyone talked about how she glowed from within. In the midst of frenetic life, she had found serenity. An aura of grace surrounded her.
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Published 27.04.2019

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T.J.S. George

Sadanand Menon reviews T.J.S. George's book MS: A Life in Music

Availability: In stock. Padma Sri Mandolin U Shrinivas, a virtuoso Indian mandolin maestro and a composer belonging to the classical Carnatic musical tradition of Southern India. He is regarded as the Mozart of classical Indian music and was a child prodigy with a rare combination of knowledge and innovation. Traditonal, but still extremely creative, with his soft enchanting eyes and an ever-smiling face, Sri Shrinivas would captivate audiences of all ages. He was one of the few instrumentalists much favoured by all the music lovers, particularly by his popular renditions of 'ragasudha rasa', Bharati's 'Chinnanchiru kiliye', 'raghunandana' and 'O Raghava'. This book, "A Life in Music" captures the glimpses of his musical journey who was the first to bring the Mandolin into the world of Carnatic music, conceiving a distinct sound and redesigning the instrument.

For MS Music was a therapy of the soul. In music, she found strength, solace and stimulation. By giving her music everything she had, she received in return a blissfulness nothing else could give her. To know how music transcends all barriers, all one has to do is to listen to M. Subbulakshmi sing. Her mellifluous voice, her phenomenal range, her command over the nuances of classical music, her exquisite diction and above all, her emotional and aesthetic appeal have held audiences worldwide spellbound.

Simultaneously the book also deals with the brahminisation of Carnatic music and its social re-engineering. It is orthodox but it is not static. Donald Trump impeachment: Transcript of call between US president, Ukrainian counterpart unlikely to be verbatim. Building collapse in Mumbai's Khar: year-old Mahi Motvani declared brought dead at Lilavati Hospital after 2-hour-long rescue op. Sensex tanks over points, Nifty tests 11,mark in early session; bank, IT, auto stocks trade negative. Dantewada Assembly bypoll: Voters brave Maoist threat as turnout touches

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