In response to the questions raised “Have you all seen another composer praising another composer? Have you all seen another composer saying he is my guru, my soul?”, I would like to share some thoughts. It is nothing unique. The bonding between two contemporary composers Naushad Ali and MSV is legendary and worth recalling. The friendship started when MSV, an unknown entity, working in central studio exchanged letters with Naushad, a well known composer. After becoming an established Music director MSV was asked to present a program in Shanmugananda Hall in Mumbai. The organizers wanted to know the fee expected by him. He appealed them to make Naushad grace the occasion if possible and forget the fee. Naushad agreed to come for a few minutes because of his preoccupations. He was so impressed with the grand show put up by MSV and stayed till the end to everyone’s surprise. He appeared with a bagful of letters and emptied them on the stage. He told the audience that all these were written by MSV to him. He started preserving those letters because he valued the knowledge of a fan who had aptly listed out the musical nuances in his compositions. Naushad also remarked that he had a foresight that this office assistant will scale great heights and become an icon one day. The front row was filled with who’s who of Bollywood music like S.D.Burman, Shankar – Jaikishen, C.Ramachandra, R.D.Burman, Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh, Mohammed Rafi, Shamshad Begum et all. A rare honor Bollywood had reserved for the musical genius MSV. Naushad invited MSV to his house for tea. When MSV visited Naushad, he was astonished by the huge collection of music by composers in different Indian languages. Naushad never failed to visit MSV during his trips to Chennai. They used to go for walks in beach. He used MSV’s harmonium only if he had to compose in Chennai. He has appreciated MSV on several occasions. He used to say MSV is large-hearted to refer him as his Guru and in reality he had learned so much from MSV. He used to add that he would take about 20 days to complete a song for which MSV had taken just 3 hours.
In yet another occasion when Naushad heard someone praising MSV as “Naushad of South India”. He humbly corrected the speaker that he is “MSV of North india”. It is an example that great achievers never allowed success go to their head.
The recent homage paid by a Music director to MSV is under criticism because it was hyped to hilt. It was advertised in the promos with an air of superiority that nobody had a better understanding of the nuances of MSV’s music than him. The show failed to meet the raised expectations of the music lovers and they have been voicing their disappointment.
Mannar received such huge accolades during his lifetime itself from a composer he held in very high esteem.