CHENNAI: With Mellisai Mannar MS Viswanathan’s body kept at his residence in Santhome for people to pay their last respects on Tuesday, it was not just a bevy of matinee idols like Rajinikanth, Khushbu or politicians like M K Stalin and GK Vasan who came calling. A number of men and women, including dozens from the nearby settlements passed through the gates of the late music director’s home to catch a glimpse of the man, whose mellifluous tunes they cherish till date.
Beside the posse of press-persons, dressed in a simple dark coloured saree, 50-year-old Queen Priscila stood quietly, observing the happenings. A big fan of MSV since her childhood, the resident of Perambur was at a hospital when the doctor told her about MSV’s death.
“I cancelled the appointment and came here. I didn’t mind taking the red-coloured MTC bus which charged `four extra as the occasion was too important,” she said.
Holding back tears, Priscila began rolling out the list of her favourite MSV songs. “Naalai Namadhe is my favourite. From seven to nine am they play his hits on television. I never miss it,” she adds. She is averse to today’s cinema music and sticks to MSV’s songs. “After Rajini and Kamal’s times, I stopped following Tamil cinema and its music,” she says.
"MSV was a very polite person who would always wish us good morning. We could often see him taking a walk in the area. The Ganesha temple in front of his house was his favourite," reminisced 69-year-old L Dhanraj, who worked as a security guard at the music director’s home for a year.
At the gate nearby, stood a group of elderly ladies, who were awestruck at the galaxy of stars standing a few feet away from them. One of them walked into the house and returned five minutes later after paying homage to MSV’s body, exchanges smiles with the group.
Youngsters living in the nearby apartments remembered MSV as the ever-tense father of Rambha in Kamal Haasan’s comedy caper Kadhala Kadhala and his screen appearance in a song in the 2013 remake of K Balachander’s Thillu Mullu.
Amid all the grief and sorrow, the loudest calls were reserved for none other than the Superstar, who walked in at around 11 30 am.
People climbed gates and went on the first floor of a neighbouring building just to get a glimpse of Rajinikanth, who was in utter grief over the demise of the man, who scored the music for many of his evergreen hits in 70s and 80s, including the original Thillu Mullu.