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Monday, March 08, 2010

Freedom from Pain

A walk to claim victory over joint pain

A walk to claim victory over joint pain >> Link thanks To The Hindu

COIMBATORE: For the second successive year, Ganga Hospital's walkathon to highlight the benefits of joint replacement surgeries saw a determined group of patients demonstrating how they have been helped to overcome pain in the hips or knees that virtually immobilised them for months, years or even decades.

Led by playback singer S.P. Balasubramaniam, hospital Chairman J.G. Shanmughanathan and Directors S. Rajasekaran and S. Rajasabapathy, women and men who had undergone joint replacement operations walked nearly one kilometre from a school to the hospital in the city on Sunday to declare their victory over pain. Managing Director of Sri Krishna Sweets was among the others who took part in the walk that was co-organised by the Rotary Club of Coimbatore Central.


Wearing T-shirts with the following slogans: “Freedom from Pain” and “Dependence to Independence”, the walkers later took part in a lemon and spoon race and a walk race. A woman from Uganda, who underwent surgery only eight days ago, was among the participants, Dr. Rajasekaran said.

The orthopaedic surgeon and president of the Association of Spine Surgeons of India said the Kalaignar Insurance Scheme for Life-saving Treatment was a boon to arthritis patients who did not have the funds to meet the high cost of knee or hip joint replacement surgeries.

Dr. Rajasekaran said the hospital had so far performed 75 joint replacement surgeries under the scheme. “These patients, who could not dream of undergoing this procedure earlier, have now been cured of their problems with the entire costs met by the Government under the scheme,” he said. Severely deformed knees and hips had been set right. “We have done over 1,000 procedures to fix fractures, joint replacement and spine surgery under this scheme,” he said.

K. Ashok (28), who had suffered a debilitating injury in his right hip, took part in the walk and other events on Sunday. “I was unemployed for a year as I was in bed. I underwent a hip joint replacement only in December and am able to drive a tractor now, thanks to the insurance scheme,” the farm worker said.

S.K. Asok Kumar (42), a technician in a software company, had severe pain in both hip joints. Steroids taken for skin allergy treatment was said to have been the reason. “Now, I can climb stairs and carry out my work,” the beneficiary of the insurance scheme said.

Apart from injuries and drug-induced problems, arthritis was a very crippling problem, Dr. Rajasekaran said.

Alarming evidence

There was evidence to prove that one in five persons above the age of 60 had some form of arthritis.

If not treated, it could worsen to a stage where the patients would be totally dependent on others for mobility and even their daily routine. This, in turn, could cause depression in the patients.

Stating that there were 20 million people in the country with severe arthritis, he said this musculo-skeletal disease could affect even children and adolescents.

Timely and proper treatment could prevent them from being crippled for life.

Apart from the lack of awareness, the lack of access to treatment and the inability to meet the costs were the main reasons for not undergoing timely treatment.

The Government's insurance scheme removed these obstacles that had stood between the poor and joint replacement surgeries.


At a function held after the walkathon, Dr. Rajasekaran showed pre-surgery and post-surgery footage of severe arthritis to show how timely surgical intervention helped. Mr. Balasubramaniam also spoke the benefits of good health and advanced medical care.

This was followed by an interaction between the audience and doctors on arthritis.

Monday, March 01, 2010

SPB Mumbai Concert Review

The much awaited program of S P Balasubrahmanyam at Mumbai took place on 27th Febrauary at the famous Shanmukhananda Hall at Sion.

Ragalaya – A cultural organisation which conducts/encourages lot of programmes on Music this year decided to felicitate the Legendary Singer S P Balasubrahmanyam after felicitation S Janaki Previously. The award of Lifetime achievement was presented to S P Balasubrahmanya in a traditional way i.e through Music. A couple of upcoming talented singers showcased their talent by singing few songs and then it was announced that S P Balasubrahmanyam would be presented with the Life Time Achievement Award.

The programme started at 6.45 pm and the Legend entered the Hall exactly at 7.15 Pm. He handed over awards to those who won singing competitions conducted by Ragalaya. The kids who received the awards from the hands of Legend were elated and the joy was evident from their expressions.

It was time to celebrate, Clad in Shining Black outfit, the legend was presented with the Life time achievement award, with the anchor praising the legend for all his achievements. It was now time to Balu to speak a few words and balu fondly remembered about his association with Shanmukhananda Hall where he performed for the first time in the year 1971. He recollected that he used to rehearse with legendary Lata mangeshkar whenever there were any foreign concerts.(in HIS own words - I had the previlage of working on the stage as a part of a attorny with Bharatratna Lata mangeshkar. And everytime we were abroad she used to call me all the way from chennai for rehearsals here in mumbai. I was very much afraid of asking her but one day I took my heart into hand and asked here "Didi, why are we singing the same numbers again and again and you are spending a lots of money on me by asking me all the way to come from chennai for rehearsals. then Didi told that Baluji with these rehearsals we can make mistakes with confidence".

He candidly admitted that "I am bound to make mistakes...and its my right and you have every right to excuse me. Dont calculate the numbers or language we are singing, Think about the music as a language”

The pure magic then started to flow, first with the evergreen Ilaya Nila from the film Payanangal Mudivathillai(1982) exactly at 7.30 pm.

The auditorium was full and the melody started raining. Whenever Balu sings songs of Ilayaraja he seems to enjoy them more and more as the time passes, same was the case with this song.

As it was a programme organised by Ragalaya which I think is basically is a Kerala based group, it was apt to sing the first song of his career in Malayalam – Ee Kadalum Maru kadalum from Kadal palum(1970), which was brilliantly composed by the great Devarajan. SPB recollected how he came into picture of singing this song which was supposed to be sung by K J Yesudas. SPB also recollected about the man who made this song his meal- Mr M Sekhar, the most popular arranger for almost all the music directors at that time and father of a prodigial song who now is known as Alla Rakha Rahman. It was a rare thing in his concerts, as SPB usually doesn’t sing full song in Malyalam, and here he sang the full song with the same emotion he sang almost 40years ago.

Next was the eternal/immortal number from his quiver, no guesses for it, it was the song which made public stand and take notice of this man from konetammapeta. Yes it is from the film sankarabharanam and the song Shankara naada sareera para.. This one song whenever SPB sings he never forgets to mention that after this film people started respecting him. It was the same magical voice which sang that song almost 31 years ago and it was the same magic again

Nilave Vaa from the film Mounaraagam was the song which followed Shankara naadasareera para which received a tremendous applause.

It was now time to sing a hindi song and we all were very curious to know which song he would select. The moment humming started entire audience started humming the song, It was again an Ilayaraja composition in the original, Saathiya Toone kya kiya from the film Love.

The co Singer was a relatively young and new girl, who was so nervous singing with the legend and erred while singing, Balu being the seniormost singer with a mind boggling 30000+ songs carried on with the song with great aplomb and at the same time motivating the little girl who was visibly shaken.
It was a time to take a small break by the legend and upcoming singers …. upcoming singers sang some melodious songs and masakali from Delhi6 was among them which received the maximum applause.

Baalu came again with another raja number Maanguyile Poonguyile from the film Karakatta karan which was again a show stealer. With the percussionist getting a special mention. After this song SPB told the main person of orchestra to make a habit of introducing all the musicians, He then asked him to get al l the musicians names.

We were eagerly waiting for a rahman number and very curious/eager and desparate to hear from SPB. Hold your breath we were surprised by the selection of the song. If surprise was a smaller word then rendering of the song was something else (absolutely out of the world). Yes it was the great melody from the wizard of music, Alla rakha rahman from the film Duet. Anjali Anjali pushpanjali.

It was the same co-singer who earlier erred, but this time Balu himself was guiding her in every note. You might be wondering which version of the song he sang,(Duet was made in telugu, hindi also and spb has sung the song in all the languages), He started in pallavi in Tamil and then charanams(antras) in Telugu and Hindi and again finished the Mukhda in tamil. Who else can do this with the same ease. The musician who played Saxophone was given a standing ovation.

There was one more surprise waiting for us. AS soon as the song was over, it was announced that another legend is coming, everyone were on their toes as to see who it would be and mind you it was a total surprise of lifetime when we saw a stout man with yellow shirt and while dhoti with a cloth band on his head, coming , removing his chappals and prostrating on the feet of SPB. It was SIVAMANI, the greatest drummer india has ever produced


He spoke a few words about SPB saying that he is my guru, god and everything, for which Balu who is known to be a very humble man said that it is SivaMani who had made internation fame, with sheer hard work.

It was an affectionate union of two legends in their own fields

There were a few kannada people and spb again decided to give a treat for those kannada fans who were present there with yet another Raja number from the film Geeta – jothe Jotheyali . As usual it was the vintage balu with all those hummings and sangathis….

Then a vintage song was to be sung, the very first song of spb Ayiram nilava vee from the film shantinilayam. The co-singer was a maharashtrian who doesn’t understand a single word of tamil, yet she gave a good company to balu.

Sundari Kannal Oru was the song followed by Aayiram Nilave Vaa. Before this song the anchor asked about the speciality of the song to the legend and He replied that this song was recorded in Mumbai with the orchestra of R D Burman by Ilayaraja. The moment the starting bit was over everyone in the studio stood up to give a standing ovation to Ilayaraja.

Then came the song of the show- No guesses – The eternal emotional song from the magic box of Lakshmikant Pyarelal- Tere mere beech mein kaisa hai ye bandhan- It was simply SuPerB. It was the song which received greatest applause.

Finally admitting that he is not comfortable in singing medley, he did sing a medley starting with the song which is very close to his heart – Ye divilo virisina parijaatamo from Kannevayasu and continued with takita tadhimi, sangeetha jathi mullai, Unakenna Mele …..Engeyam eppadum, sangeetha megam

We had to leave the show half hearted as we were not fully satisfied, it was like a thirsty person getting only one glass of water…….

mail me at vikaas.k@gmail.com