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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

‘A special music session on train’: Man recounts meeting with young SP Balasubrahmanyam

Sharing that the artiste mesmerised his family with his soulful music, the man now in his late 50s wrote how they didn't realise their "privilege at that time".

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 29, 2020 11:42:02 am
S P Balasubrahmanyam, balasubramaniam, spb, spb death, spb health, sp balasubramaniam, balasubrahmanyam, sp balu, spb news, sp balasubrahmanyam, s p balasubramaniam, spb condition, s p balasubrahmanyam latest newsThe story moved many fans online who dubbed him as "lucky" and said they were jealous.

Veteran singer-actor SP Balasubrahmanyam passed away Friday, leaving fans all over the world heartbroken. As tributes poured in and many shared personal interactions with the singer, one story stood out — that of a little boy who was witness to an impromptu musical session during a train journey in the early 70s.

Businessperson K Vaitheeswaran (@vaitheek) tweeted a story from his childhood about how he happened to meet Balasubrahmanyam during his Diwali vacations while travelling to Chennai from Howrah in a train. Vaitheeswaran wrote about how the artiste impressed his family with his talent, and that they didn’t realise their “privilege at that time”.

“After settling down in his berth, the young man introduced himself as Balu, a playback singer. He was going to Madras for recording a Tamil song next day. We invited him to share our lunch and he readily agreed. The fun started after lunch,” he wrote.

“After regaling us with some stories, he started singing some lovely songs in Telugu and Tamil. We didn’t know the songs as such but they were undoubtedly melodious. What we didn’t realise was our privilege at that time,” he continued.

“At Vijayawada station, a friend met him with some lovely home-cooked dinner which he generously shared with us. He also bought me some chocolate bars from a hawker,” reminisced Vaitheeswaran. He said the singer then sang many other songs, including hits by Kishore Kumar and Mohammad Rafi.

It was after a few years, when Balasubrahmanyam became famous, that Vaitheeswaran says he realised what a privilege it was to have that memory.

“For school kids like me growing up in Madras in the 70s onwards, his voice was all around us. Day in and out. I am now 57 years old. Daily when I am out walking, his voice accompanies me. As it will tomorrow. And every day thereafter,” he added.

Concluding that there are many favourite hits by the legendary singer, he said he “will forever cherish the special music session” on the train.

The story moved many, with others also remembering the singer’s down to earth nature.

However, this is not the only heartwarming story about the 74-year-old singer melting hearts online. Another video of him surprising one of his fans — a visually-impaired man, is being widely shared online.

As posts and videos of SP Balasubrahmanyam’s humility continued to set social media abuzz, old footage of him touching the feet of the porters carrying him to the Sabarimala temple in Kerala also started doing the rounds of social media.

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