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Well-deserved recognition

Legendary composer M.S. Viswanathan was recently honoured a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Sangam Kala Group. A report



MSV who was honoured with the Life Time Achievement Award, presenting a trophy to another awardee, Ramesh Vinayakam. — Pic. by T.A.Hafeez

AT LAST it's happening. The amazing talent of the legend, whose film melodies continue to sway music lovers even after four decades and more, is beginning to receive recognition that's overdue. So in the wake of Thamizh Isai Sangam's prestigious `Isai Perarignar' title conferred on M. S. Viswanathan, the Tamil Nadu Chapter of Sangam Kala Group, a national non-profit organisation that strives to promote talent in Fine Arts, honoured the King of Light Music with a Lifetime Achievement Award, at its 27th annual celebrations at Sivagami Pethachi Auditorium, recently.

Film producer Mukta Srinivasan, the chief guest of the evening, and director `Chitralaya' Gopu who had been invited to felicitate MSV, were present at the hall much before the start of the programme. The winners of the National Singing Talent Hunt, Surtarang 2004, began to entertain the audience with their prize-winning numbers and Srinivasan and Gopu were seen engrossed in the music. The slight delay in the actual awards ceremony hardly mattered to them. Soon MSV arrived and the three drank in the excellent rendition of the youngsters with unconcealed joy.

Sundar, a doctor by profession, whose skill in the various genres of light classical and devotional, has won him accolades from many quarters, was another worthy recipient of Sangam Kala Group's Award for Contribution to Music. Success may be creeping in late for Ramesh Vinayakam, whose recent score in "Nala Damayanti" identified him as a composer with potential, but it has surely begun coming his way. The Up and Coming Music Director Award that he received from the hands of the composing great that evening is just an indication. Ramesh's modest acceptance speech ought to have pleased MSV who is the best-known face of Humility in this part of the country.

Kavignar Vaali, another veteran on stage, extolled the virtues and prowess of the music genius. But he was slightly off the mark when he spoke of the present state of cinema music, where success alone matters. Who cares for the literary aspect in lyrics, he asked. It was the disillusioned voice of a poet. But one who knew how to sail with the tide and pen words that sell! He gratefully remembered the encouragement that MSV had shown when he was just a fledgling in the industry. `Chitralaya' Gopu recalled his association with Viswanathan, when the formidable director Sridhar-composer MSV combination spelt stupendous success on screen. But the best and most touching eulogy came from Mukta Srinivasan.

Sangam Kala Group, which has 35 chapters all over the country, has done itself proud. Besides identifying budding talent, it had chosen to honour seasoned artistes of the calibre of MSV in a befitting manner, he said. His anger and frustration were almost tangible when he stated, "Vaali and MSV may have not been awarded a Padmashri or Padma Bhushan still, but to all of us who know their greatness, they are equal to 10 such honours... " He's right. Why is it that the eminence of such achievers as M.S. Viswanathan never reaches the ears of those at the pinnacle of power?

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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