Passing on…

Sri Subbudu….

Respected, feared, Music and Dance critic….Todays Hindu has an obit notice….He has passed away….

I have seen him on occasion….My folks were associated with Delhi Shanmukananda Sangeeta Sabha, and I have had the joy of attending many music concerts, many, many moons ago….Have heard Balamurali Krishna when he was making his first forays into public…..and I remember this….Subbudu’s criticisms would be awaited….and read….I was too young to read art pieces, but I am told that he packed deadly humour….and usually a sting as well….(which, I read somewhere, he attributed to his Scorpio – vricchika raaashi)…..It should be said that he brought the art of “critic” to a new level….Oh, it must have been hard for the artistes who had to suffer his barbs….but then life on the stage always has a price….

May he live in peace in heaven….and write some sharp pieces on Narada, Tumburu, Urvashi and others, ask searching questions about celestial appreciation of dance and music….

For if someone can take on God, Subbudu can….

3 Responses to “Passing on…”

  1. GJV Prasad Says:

    not having been too young to read subbudu’s criticism, i must say i quite enjoyed reading them as also imagining the discomfiture of the artistes he so criticised. i remember a few controversies where his competence was questioned, but the fact was that he wrote with erudition and his opinions were expressed with the dexterity of a Muhammad Ali, and not with the bludgeoning force of a Sonny Liston or a Joe Frazier. you would pay to read subbudu for the sheer entertainment value that he provided.

  2. Srikanth Sivaraj Says:

    Subbudu was supportive of the junior artistes but did not spare the Titans (I remember him writing about Semmangudi’s kacheri with his 4 sishyas was “kattu katthal”; and “Sangathi varallai – chali thaan vanthathu”). Like Semmmangudi, Hemamalini was a favourite punching bag for Subbudu. His contention was that she should have stopped dancing, relearn her Bharathnatyam before performing again. If I remember right, her response was that he had no right to comment if he did not even sit through her performance. He has admitted that he did not sit through the concerts.

    Subbudu was also accused of writing reviews even without attending some concerts.

    Every profession needs an icon to draw attention towards it, to popularize it and to glamourize it. Subbudu was the one such icon.

  3. M A Prasad Says:

    I distinctly remember one Kucheri – I think the hall was New woodlands during December season. In midway through the Kucheri (I do not recollect the singer now) there were lot of hustle-bustle. organizers were a lot and they suddently running around this gentleman, who came and sat by my side in the middle row. At that time, I have personally met Subbudu. However some of the organizers were calling him Subbudu Anna and the entire focus was on him and not on the singer in the dais. But greatness – Subbudu immediately told the organizers to leave him alone and they were disturbing the singer in the dais. All withdrew. He enjoyed the kucheri for at least 30 minutes and making some notes. Appreciating in between as well as nodding his head wildly.

    Next day in the Mylapore times (kucheri special) his article appeared appreciating and critisizing the kucheri – of course a soul like me can only enjoy music, but can never understand nuances of the same. This kindled my memries some 10 years back

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