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The South Indian music world has lost a great composer with the death of M.S. Viswanathan.
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M.S. Viswanathan, the renowned Tamil music composer has died at the age of 88.
A report in The Hindu said, “it is not just for many of his ever green songs, but also for the anthem — Neerarum Kadalodutha — MSV will ever be part of the Tamil psyche.
“In the Tamil film music world, no other composer was as diverse as MSV was and he had composed music for over 1,700 films in Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada and worked with four Chief Ministers — N.T. Rama Rao, M.G. Ramachandran, M. Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa,” the report added.
Born Maniyanga Subramanian Viswanathan in Elapulli in Palghat district, MSV’s life exemplifies the saying that the birth of a genius is an accident.
Incidentally, MSV has no family history of music, except that he had the privilege of sitting on the belly of his father Subramanian and listening to him singing. The passion apparently stayed.
According to The Hindu report, his first film was Jenova and the hero was M.G. Ramachandaran, the revered idol of millions of Tamil film lovers.
It is said that MGR had reservations about using MSV in the film. But the producers of the film told MGR that they would not change the music director and if he was not interested in acting in the film he was free to quit the project.
Following the death of his father who was working as a jailor, the family fell into utter penury. MSV who was considered a cursed child decided to commit suicide by jumping into a tank.
“I wanted my mother to jump into the water first. When she demanded the reason, I told her what if she changed her mind after I drowned. By that time, my grandfather arrived and we were saved,” MSV had recorded in his biography penned by Ranimainthan.
MSV was also an outstanding singer. Sollathan Ninaikiren, Inbathilum Thunbathilun Sirithidu Magaley,Yenakkoru Kaathalai Irukindral and more recently A.R. Rahman’s Sangamam and Vidaikodu Engal Nadey.
“Great music should hold a listener spellbound. Athan Yennathan in Pava Mannippu, Iravum Nilavum in Karnan, Yennai Yar Endru in Paalum Pazhamum and Nenjam Marappathillai in Nenjam Marappathillai and Nilave Yennidam in Ramu give the feeling that we have association with these songs in all our births,” said famous composer Ilayaraja in his afterword to MSV’s biography.
The title Mellisai Mannargal was coined by the poet Kannadasan and conferred on him and T.K. Ramamoorthy by renowned actor Sivaji Ganesan.
MSV’s funeral will be held on Wednesday morning at his residence on Santhome High Road in Chennai.
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