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MS and Radha : Saga of Steadfast Devotion

Gowri Ramnarayan, Wordcraft, 2009, pbk, 216 p, b/w photos, $40.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents: Foreword. 1. A cloud of Jasmine. 2. The shy girl. 3. Making a mark. 4. The firebrand. 5. Storming citadels. 6. Silver screen. 7. Music for the soul. 8. A student forever. 9. Sage counsel. 10. Beyond music. 11. Meera's Radha. Afterword. Acknowledgements. Index.

"Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi (1916-2004) was acclaimed as one of the greatest musicians of India. The say girl from the temple town of Madurai, groomed by mother Shanmukhavadivu and fine-tuned by doyen Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, became a national icon, revered as an avatar of the medieval saint-poet Meera.

Millions were mesmerized by the grandeur of her voice and overwhelmed by her philanthropy. Husband Tyagarajan Sadasivam ensured that her native genius was polished and perfected until she became a cult figure, awarded the most prized title in her field - The Music Academy's Sangita Kalanidhi - and conferred India's highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna. Through it all, MS remained modest, humble, steadfast in her devotion to God, Guru and mentor-husband.

Radha Viswanathan, her daughter and vocal accompanist from childhood, has been a Bharatanatyam artiste, Carnatic musician and music guru. Radha placed service to MS above personal ambition. Love and devotion characterized the bonds between the two women."

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