She filled those meaningful librettos with her sweet tone. Music lovers of yore immersed themselves in her soothing voice as well as the enthralling music. All her songs became instant hits and listening to her was a real feast to the ears.
On November 13th, melody queen P. Susheela celebrates her 73rd birthday. So many years have passed, yet every song she has recorded still strikes an emotional chord in her diehard listeners’ hearts.
Among the evergreen melodies she has sung, it is indeed tough to point out a few, because each song was distinctly exclusive and thoroughly enjoyable. Be it the mesmerizing ‘Unnai Naan Sandhithen’, the modulation-rich ‘Mannavan Vandhaanadi’, the slightly impish ‘Athan Ennathan’ or the teasing ‘Maalai Pozhudin Mayakkathile’, all of them are listeners’ all-time favourites. Susheela’s proper training in Carnatic music at a very young age helped her render those notes and nuances with perfection and synchronization.
In those times, only singers who had a solid training could handle the heavy compositions. Lyrics written by eminent poets were mainly in chaste Tamil, meaningful and significant to the film’s theme. So both the pronunciation of the words and rendering of the tune assumed equal importance. Susheela was a trusted singer who accomplished this flawlessly in every song. Susheela has worked with many stalwarts of her time. However, many of the songs she sang for the music director duo Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy became memorable hits. The Tamil Nadu and Kerala state governments have honoured her with a number of awards, titles and honours in recognition of her talented singing in many films.
Undoubtedly, she has secured a distinctive place in listeners’ hearts and will continue to remain there forever. For some, her songs offer soothing remedies; for others, they are mood-lifters and for many more, they are the jewels of the past.
Happy Birthday Susheela! Happy singing!