The life story of carnatic music legend M.S. Subbulakshmi, the first musician to be conferred the Bharat Ratna, is now detailed in a graphic illustrated book launched recently.

The story of the nightingale of carnatic music, fondly known as MS, who charmed millions of fans with her sonorous golden voice and was known to be a generous and humble person, is being told through Amar Chitra Katha’s new title “M S Subbulakshmi — Queen of Carnatic Music’’.

The 31-page comic book encapsulates the impressive journey of the singer from humble beginnings in Madurai to her early lessons with her accomplished mother, the story talks about her devotion, even at a very young age, to music.

The book also refers to the singer’s involvement in India’s independence movement.

“Today we recognise the arts as moving forces that bring peace and harmony, and also inspire change. MS is one of the most inspiring stories of our times,” said Vijay Sampath, CEO, ACK Media, in a statement.

While MS’s music was a God-given gift, it was the influence of her husband, the fiery T. Sadashivam — that eventually made MS the global icon she is today, says the book.

The publisher says it took a total of nine months in researching and bringing out the book. Scriptwriter Aruna Balkrsihna Singh read and researched, and also met people who knew the singer. Illustratitions have been done by Rakesh C.S. and Prakash S. is the colourist.

“The idea behind the title was primarily to educate both adults and children about the lady behind the legend and explore the life of MS as a person and capture her qualities like her dedication to music, her motivations and influences, her disciplined austerity and her humility which will be an inspiration for the generations to come,” said Aruna Balkrsihna.

Working on this graphic biography has been a learning experience for the entire team, said Reena Puri, Editor, Amar Chitra Katha.

“As artists and writers ourselves, we hope we have done justice to the phenomenon called MS, and created in the limited framework that we must work with, a story that will appeal to the young and also to all our other readers,” she said.

M.S. Subbulakshmi passed away in 2004

Amar Chitra Katha is bringing out a series of books to “highlight people who have made a mark in the world of performing arts.”

“India has singers, dancers and actors whose lives could be an inspiration to young people. There was a time when children were not encouraged to take up these arts professionally. We want to highlight the courage, determination and hard work that haVE gone behind each success story” said Vijay Sampath, CEO.

The book is priced at Rs 50 and available for purchase at bookstores and through the Amar Chitra Katha Web site.

(This article was published on December 15, 2012)
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