Anyone who has known S P Balasubrahmanyam, fondly known as SPB, knows about his gentle and humble personality which could bring smile on anyone's face.
In a moving story, a man who lost his eyesight to a bomb explosion was up for the sweetest surprise of his life when SPB decided to meet him. In a show on Varnam Malaysia, Mathimaran thought he was being asked to record a fan message for Balu Sir. But, the show had something really special in store for him.
Mathimaran had lost his eyesight in a bomb explosion in Sri Lanka. He sustained many injuries and it took him six months to recover. Shortly, after that he had moved to Malaysia and studied law. He is now a law lecturer at a private institution.
Mathimaran says throughout the testing times of his life, it was music that kept him floating. He said that it was SPB's music that became for him an important coping mechanism and helped him heal. "It's fine if I can't see, as long as I still have my hearing," Mathimaran told his doctor as he was recovering from the bomb explosion.
When organisers of Raaghav Productions heard his story, they decided to give him the opportunity so that he could meet the man who has been instrumental in his life. As he was recording the message, therein comes the legendary playback singer SPB. Mathimaran's reaction was priceless.
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Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam belonged to a rare breed of playback singers whose golden voice cast a spell over generations. After waging 52 days of grim battle for life following COVID-19 infection, the 74-year old singer suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest and the end came on Friday afternoon, a day after his condition turned extremely critical. However, the hospital said SPB had tested negative for COVID-19 on September 4.
The whole nation grieved the death of the music icon, a six-time national award winner who was honoured with Padma Shri in 2001 and Padma Bhushan in 2011. The impeccable singer had sung over 40,000 songs in films and albums in 16 languages.