Nellore: A native of Nellore, playback singer S P Balasubhramanyam had a strong bond with his home town, especially his classmates and childhood friends.
Born on June 4, 1946 to the couple S P Sambamurthy and Sakunthalamma at Konetimpeta in Chittoor district, Balu went to primary school at Srikalahasti.
He studied in VR High School and VR College in Nellore before he enrolled at JNTU College of Engineering, Anantapur to become an engineer.
However, he discontinued his studies early due to typhoid and joined as an associate member of the Institution of Engineers, Chennai.
Though he settled in Chennai after he established himself as a singer in multiple languages, he always kept in touch with his friends and relatives in Nellore. In fact, his mother was staying in their ancestral house at Tipprajuvari Street in Nellore till her demise in February last year.
In memory of his parents, Balasubhramanyam donated the house to Kanchi Sankara Peetham to run a Veda Patasala and renovated the building, spending nearly Rs 10 lakh.
“He was planning to come to Nellore for the opening of the Veda Patasala but the corona infection upset all plans,” said Tunga Siva Prabhat Reddy, a family friend of Balu.
He said, “he has given money to his sisters in lieu of their share in the house while donating the building for Kanchi Peetam.”
Reminding that Balu’s father SP Sambammurthy was an exponent of Harikatha, a close friend of Balu's family, Veerisetty Hazarath Babu said Balu had installed his father’s statue at Kasturba Kalakshetra in Nellore.
Vice-president M. Venkaiah Naidu, when he was union minister, along with popular film hero Kamala Hasan and film director K. Viswanath unveiled the statue of Sambamoornthy on October 3, 2015.
Balasubhramanyam was also organising drama competitions through his cultural organisation Vijetha Arts at town hall in Nellore every year with the help of his friends Hazarth Babu, Vennelakanti Rajendra Prasad, Sesha Gireesam and Devi Prasad.
He had also set up an award on his name and offering Rs 1 lakh each to outstanding personalities in the film world and social service field during his birthday celebrations every year at Nellore.
“Being a brand Ambassador of Swachh Bharat Mission, Mr Bala Subhramanyam was keen on holding a rally with 20,000 students to create awareness among the youngsters on environment and clean all roads in Nellore, but the wish has not materialised yet,” Siva Prabhat said.
Recalling his 60 years long association with Balu and his family, Hazarath Babu said Balu was a unique person and an ajatasathru (a person without enemies). “He was very kind and ground to earth despite his popularity all over the country.”
Balu is survived by his wife, his son S P Charan, and daughter Pallavi.