Veteran singer KS Chitra recalls that she had met late singer SP Balasubrahmanyam while singing the song ‘Kalakalamaga’ in the movie Punnagai Mannan. Though she had already sung quite a few songs, Chitra says she was a bit tensed as she walked into the recording booth to sing the song with SPB.
“In that recording booth, I had met someone who would hold me by my hands and lead me in my musical journey. We sang countless songs together in Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil and Hindi. We performed in lots of concerts as well. I have watched from close quarters how seamlessly he sings each song. He helped and led me even if I missed a rhythm or a beat. He had great care for the person who sings alongside him. I cannot even tell how kind SP sir had been to the people around him,” says Chitra.
Chitra says that the legendary singer used to secretly help his fans who were struggling with illness and other problems. “My eyes tears up whenever I recall how he surprised a blind music lover, by whispering ‘I am Balu’ from his back. When the news of him being hospitalized came out, lots of people called me and spoke about how he had helped them all,” notes Chitra.
Chitra and SP Balasubrahmanyam had shared numerous stages and travelled quite a lot within and outside the country on musical tours. She fondly recalls the great care and love that SPB had shown to each one of his colleagues during these trips. SPB would even make sure that everyone in his team has safely checked into their hotel rooms.
“SP sir had showed me the way and guided me at many instances. He had only good things to say about others. Whenever he sang Malayalam songs, he would call me asking about the pronunciation of certain words. I would sing those lines and sent it back. He never understood how to pronounce or articulate the ‘na’ sound. He would always ask me with a smile, ‘What ‘na’ is that?’ I haven’t seen anyone else work so hard to learn songs. He considered each language as God,” says Chitra.