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Music, Dance, Cinema (A Flashback and Progress)

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Item Code: NAM980
Author: Lakshmi Sundaram
Publisher: Palaniappa Brothers, Chennai
Language: English
Edition: 2013
ISBN: 9788183796101
Pages: 224, (44 B/W and 38 Color Illustrations)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 9.5 inch x 7.0 inch
Weight 440 gm
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Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
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100% Made in India
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Book Description
About the Author

Lakshmi Sundaram hails from Pathamadai in Tirunelveli district, lived in Thiruvananthapuram and Burma for a short while where her father was a professor in the University. She took her B.Sc., from the Queen Mary's College, Madras and M.A., in Political Science and Public Administration from the Presidency College, Madras. She obtained a Diploma in French from the Alliance Francaise, Pondicherry.

She is a freelance writer with numerous articles on diverse subjects like culture, travel and humour in national newspapers and journals.

She was also a broadcaster. She was the first one to read news in English when the AIR (All India Radio) was started in Pondicherry in 1967. She was also broadcasting over Radio-Television, Belgium in 1970 and 1971.

She is married to Dr. G. Sundaram, IAS(Rtd.) Former Secretary to the Government of India.


When South Indian artistes were practically not known or were not projected in the media in the North about two decades ago, I thought that I would try to fill the void in my own way as a freelance writer for the newspapers in Delhi. At that time, even national awards for the Tamil actors were a few and far between. But the newspapers in Delhi readily came forward and published my articles after my personal interaction with some of the young and upcoming artistes of Chennai. I gave, in these articles, a bit of their personal background, their interest in music or dance or cinema and as young artistes how they were looking into the future. At that time, they were a bit hesitant to talk freely about their future. They were confident of themselves, but also a bit cautious naturally being young. Some of the contents, particularly what they said, may appear at times repetitive, but these find a place in the book to show mainly that different newspapers in Delhi were ready to publish to give a new Southern focus.

The present book is thought of because almost all of them have made tremendous strides and in fact are shining stars in the cultural firmament today. A few of them like Lalgudi, the Travancore Sisters and Sivaji were stalwarts even then and they had since passed into memory leaving behind a rich legacy and their children are in their footsteps bearing the cultural flag. This book is an attempt at sketching this progress.

"Carnatic music is an endless ocean," said the young Unnikrishnan when I spoke to him nearly two decades ago. "Dance is an expression of my soul," said Vyjayanthimala. Cinema is for the common man. A common man can elevate himself from folk-music to film music and ultimately to Carnatic music. Tamil cinema has made tremendous progress surpassing Bollywood and Hollywood. This is also the Centenary Year of Indian Cinema. In this tradition of film and Carnatic music came M.L. Vasanthakumari whose shining disciple is 'the charming chanteuse', Sudha Raghunathan.

I also thank these newspapers/journals for graciously having permitted me to publish these articles in a book form.


Charming Chanteuse 7
Dancing Queen 9
Anchorage of Music 12
Torch Bearer of A Tradition 14
Sudha Sings For The Love Of Her Illustrious Guru 16
The Mohanam Maestro 21
Mohanam Lives Forever 24
The Power Of Music 26
The Genius Of Lalgudi 31
Glorious Melodies Of Lalgudi Jayaraman 36
Singing Sensation 39
Carnatic Music Is An Endless Ocean 41
The Sweet Sound Of Music And Applause 43
Shining In Versatility 45
The Vani That Rendered One Of The Most Sensuous Film Melodies Is Now Turning To Bhakti Songs 49
Weaving The Saptaswaras 52
Mature Veena Player 54
She Mixes Sensuality Of Ghazals With The Divinity Of Her Veena 56
Inheriting Lalgudi's Violin 61
Eminent Violinist 64
Of Divine Melodies 69
Young Mandolin Maestro 72
Meditative Music 75
The Little Master 79
A Child Prodigy From South 82
In Search Of Roots 84
Dance Is An Expression Of My Soul 89
The Dancing Queens 95
An Aesthetic Bharatam 97
Down The Memory Lane 103
The Travancore Sisters Mesmerised With Their Dances 105
Recalling The Sisters As Neighbours 109
Dance Is Shobhana's Passion, And Also A Step To Success 115
Star In The Southern Sky 118
The Month Of Magical Melodies 120
A 'Golden Innings' 125
AVM's Banner Flies High 128
Studio Success Story 131
When The Bugles Blew There Was A Great Show 135
The Gemini Showman 139
Producer With A Midas Touch 143
A Shooting Star 148
Roja Is Not The Only Flower In Balachander's Garden 152
A Director With A Difference 156
From Sindhu Bhairavi To Sahana 159
The Three Aces 163
Films With A Difference 166
A Director Par Excellence 168
Towards Greater Success 173
The Three Musketeers 175
A Musketeer Who Wore His Heart On His Sleeve 181
Riding Like A Colossus 185
His Memory Lives On 188
A Drop Which Filled An Ocean 191
A Voice Evergreen In Its Appeal 194
Nightingale Of The South 199
Singing Gently As The Honey Bee 202
Glory Days For Tamil Cinema 205
The Tide From Mumbai 208
She Stands Like A Rock Through Fair Weather And Foul 213
A Winner All The Way 216
A Spontaneous Actress 221


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