MS Katrinile Vandha Geetham!
I just finished reading MS Biography ‘A Life in Music ‘by TJSGeorge and I have never come across a more thrilling Biography in my Life! To be honest, I wd rate T. Sadasivam a great Management expert though he was a drop out from School! From every angle as a devoted Freedom fighter admiring Subramaniya Siva to sell off the vast Kalki Gardens in Chetpet to pay off all his staff, with more than double their expectations, my respect for this man has multiplied beyond my unimaginable Admiration for the gifted singer MS!
Let us start with the thriller Appendix at the end of the Book! TJSGeorge has done such a Research to unearth all the Love Letters written by MS to GNB during the 39-41 shootings of the famous movie Sakunthala! More thrilling was the fact that GNB had preserved all these letters in various places from Trivandrum to Bangalore, and one has to give credit to MS for accepting Sadasivam ultimately as what else a talented poor girl Cd do coming from a Devadasi family!
I Cd understand Sadasivam’s excessive possessiveness of MS and even locking her inside the house whenever he was going out, as Sadasivam was confronting two groups to run away with the young MS, the Madurai Group headed by MS’ mother Shanmugavadivu and the other, as imagined by Sadasivam, from GNB, though GNB was not interested at all in MS! It was a one sided Romance which forced MS to ultimately marry her custodian Sadasivam who was 15 yrs older to her, in a simple ceremony at Thiruneermalai!
Sadasivam, born in a family of 15 children was involved in Freedom struggle, dropped out of School and was blindly following Subrahmanya Siva and he cdn’t comprehend Siva ‘apologising ‘to the Britishers to get Released, because of Siva’s unbearable leprosy! Sadasivam was looking for someone to replace Siva when he comes across Rajaji and till Rajaji’s Demise in 72, Sadasivam wd never do anything in his life without his advice, including the marriage to MS as his 2nd wife!
During the Freedom struggle Sadasivam was making a remarkable sale of Khadar in Bangalore and his amazing marketing ability brought him to be the Advertisement Mgr of S. S. Vasan for Ananda Vikatan whose Editor was Kalki Krishnamurthy!MS whose talented debut in Madurai as a 12yr old girl made waves through HMV Records (please listen to her first song)
MS mother wanted to make use of her talents by making her sing in Mahamakam and took a house in Pursawakkam, nearer to Veenai Danammal! Sadasivam was involved in making a movie with K. Subramanian ‘Sevasadan ‘Sadasivam having seen MS’ Singing talents, forces K. Subramanian to take MS in the lead role and both become close to each other!
Sadasivam’s closeness to MS was not to Shanmugavadivu’s liking as she had many calculations on her mind for her beautiful young talented daughter! So suddenly to severe the connections with Sadasivam, Shanmugavadivu takes her away to Madurai and was keen on getting her married to a wealthy Chettiar! Sadasivam was not bothered about MS at this stage trying to establish a separate magazine ‘Kalki ‘as Vasan was unhappy with Kalki’s vociferous writings against the British in Ananda Vikatan! I salute Sadasivam to come out of Ananda Vikatan though Vasan very much wanted him and thereby, helping Kalki to continue writing! Ponniyin Selvan, Sivakamiyin Sabatham and such masterpieces from Kalki’s pen owes their origin to Sadasivam!
MS finds herself in a disgusting state at Madurai with her mother trying to force her in marriage to some wealthy Chettiars! MS, suddenly one day, takes the train to Madras without anyone’s knowledge!
MS during her stay in Madras was in touch with a Congress freedom fighter, Subramanian, apart from Sadasivam and she boldly goes to his house straight from the Station! Subramanian a married man with kids was taken aback to receive an young girl and decides to take her to Sadasivam, as Subramanian firmly believes Sadasivam is the only one who can give asylum to a poor girl like MS! Despite his marriage to Parvathi with 2 girls, Sadasivam gives asylum to MS and that’s how MS’ Long musical journey starts!
Sadasivam, once decides to give MS a place in his house as a Guardian to start with, he doesn’t care for what the world may talk about them. This estranges his relationship with his wife Parvathi and her life ends in a mystery at her native place Udayarpalayam! All in all Sadasivam promotes the talented MS through his Cine contacts and influence to bring out some amazing movies Sakunthala and Savitri and his own Meera which was a superhit with the famous ‘Katrinile Varum Geetham!
Whatever might have been Sadasivam’s treatment given to his first wife, George writes ‘Sadasivam has not only taken care of her father’s financial problems but even for MS’ brother and sister, Sadasivam had helped with finance whenever required by a wayward brother Sakthivel! ‘with a holistic view of the Debt ridden families!’
After Meera’s success, Sadasivam also promotes MS’ musical talents as a Gifted Carnatic music Singer, rather than promoting her as a Cine Artiste! Through Rajaji’s contacts MS becomes close to Mahatma and Nehru and her concerts for National movements bring plentiful of financial support for Mahatma! Sadasivam’s Kalki Gardens have constant visitors and after their simple marriage at Thiruneermalai, MS becomes the most responsible in Sadasivam’s family taking absolute care of Sadasivam’s daughters Vijaya and Radha!
Sadasivam helps Rajaji to buy a house in T. Nagar after Rajaji’s retirement as Governor General of India and also gives a cottage inside Kalki Gardens for Rajaji to keep as his office and later on to start his Swatantra party! In 1954 Sadasivam was finding difficult to get his daughters married, when Rajaji, whose counseling Sadasivam values more than anything else, tells Sadasivam to seek Kanchi Paramacharya’s Blessings! To Sadasivam’s amazement within a few weeks of his seeking Kanchi Paramacharya’s Blessings, his daughter’s marriage was fixed. From that time onwards Sadasivam firmly believes that Kanchi Mahan is everything for him and MS!
In 1974, Kalki being stickler to certain rules faces immense competition from Vikatan and newly started Kumudam and experiences financial pressures! Added to this was the workers dispute and strikes, which force him, in a fit of anger to sell Kalki Gardens and to pay off all his staff and moves into a rented house owned by Suhasini and Mani Rathnam with an ad inserted in the papers : ”Henceforth MS will do concerts only for Charities! “
That is Sadasivam, a Karmayogi, may be misunderstood due to circumstances! But looking at another very talented Singer, N.L.Vasanthakokilam’s tragic life, MS’ wd have also ended that way but for Sadasivam!
Whatever it may be, listening to MS’Venkatesa Subra patham to Kanakadara Stotram, I feel MS is God’s gift to mankind and Sadasivam was chosen by God Himself as her protector! God denied any progenies for MS,may be for her to devote more attention to her music!Her immeasurable affection for Vijaya and Radha, is quite amazing indeed!
MS is indeed காற்றினிலே வந்த கீதம்!