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An occasion to cherish


M. S. Viswanathan honours P. B. Sreenivas at the "Kalangalil Aval Vasantham" show. — Pic. by S. R. Raghunathan.

A GLITTERING galaxy of singing stars was on stage to celebrate the achievements of one of their ilk. He may be a yesteryear achiever, but his soft, romantic numbers are popular even after four decades and more.

Kamaraj Memorial Hall that day witnessed many a touching moment — for the audience and for those on stage. M.S. Viswanathan, and P.B. Sreenivas, the star of the evening, were seated on stage with the orchestra and singers. The former left after awhile but the time he spent there proved memorable. Age had not withered his wit or enthusiasm, as he joined with Anuradha Sriram to present one of PBS's all time hits — `Poga Poga Theriyum...'.

There are innumerable melodies of PBS that have an everlasting quality about them. And listening to a host of young, up and coming singers present them with the feel and expression of the original was an enjoyable experience.

It was a nostalgic sojourn for many in the hall. The musical bonanza was called``Kalangalil Aval Vasantham''— a celebration of PBS's 50 years of achievement in cinema. The hours belonged to P.B. Sreenivas. He shared his experiences with the gathering and had everyone bowled over by his humility. Such was the power of the melodies of the 1960s that though it was well past 10 p.m., most of the audience stayed on till the last Punjabi number, energetically rendered by PBS and S. Janaki.

The unanimous choice for emceeing all film-oriented functions these days seems to be Y.Gee. Mahendra. Whether it was the result of a conscious effort or whether it was because of his genuine love for melodies of yore, his presentation that day had appealing touches of spontaneity and sentiment.

The singers included veterans S.P.Balasubramanian, S.Janaki, P. Susheela and Vani Jayaram, young singers Srinivas, Yugendran, Unni Menon, Unni Krishnan, Vijay Yesudas and A.V. Ramanan, S.P. Shailaja and others. A.V. Ramanan's duets with Janaki and Shailaja were unusual numbers which one had not heard him render before.

Practice at points seemed wanting and cues were sometimes not properly taken. But the ambience of camaraderie and goodwill that existed throughout compensated amply.

The huge orchestra assembled on stage did a fantastic job. The awe created by the ever so many instruments and the coordinated effort was a treat — visual and aural. The organiser Raghuraj Chakravarthy and his orchestra deserve all the kudos they won from the public and the singers that evening. Bringing to the fore the melodious fare of the past, recognising the greatness of the singer who sang them once upon a time and honouring him, are gestures that deserve appreciation.

M. R.

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