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When Kalam heads to MS home...
T.M. Krishna has the uncanny ability to stay in the limelight. His sense of timing is perfect. Ahead of every annual music season, he has found himself in news pages. This time around, his reported observations on the iconic singer MS (late M.S. Subbulakshmi) have elicited extreme reactions. His reported references to her background and colour have not gone done well with many an hardcore MS rasika. Even as many are drawn into the raging controversy, a walk down memory lane is worth at this moment. Let us rewind a bit to Season 2002. The then President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam, inaugurated the annual festival of The Music Academy. In his book on T.T. Vasu, the then President of The Music Academy (T.T. Vasu - The Man who could never say 'No'), author S. Muthiah revealed how President Kalam, who nicely hijacked the Academy proceedings in the face of a time-conscious Vasu, drove straight to the home of MS to present her with the Academy award. MS was among the great musicians such as Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, D.K. Pattammal and Pandit Ravi Shankar who were given the special award by the Academy, which was celebrating the Platinum Jubilee that year. Since MS could not make it to the event, President Kalam made it to her home to present the award. This little peep into history reveals not just her commanding position in the world of Carnatic music but also gives a clue or two to the humble personality in President Kalam. The colour of her music is pure Period.