Where have you gone, Balu?: Ilaiyaraaja mourns death of friend and singer SPB

“Where did you go? Have you gone to sing for the angels?” asked an emotional Ilayaraaja.
A collage of singer singer SP Balasubrahmanyan and music director Ilayaraaja
A collage of singer singer SP Balasubrahmanyan and music director Ilayaraaja
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Music maestro Ilayaraaja conveyed his heartfelt condolences on the demise of legendary singer SP Balasubrahmanyam on Friday in a heart-wrenching video. Stating that he was plunged into limitless sorrow, Ilayaraaja was moved at the loss of his friend and long-time collaborator from the music industry. The duo have given scores of hits together from their first collaboration back in the 1970s when they had still not entered the film industry and turned into successful music legends. 

“Balu, I said get up and come back soon. I said I am waiting to meet you. You didn't listen to me. You left. Where did you go? Have you gone to sing for the angels? World here has turned into nothing. I don't know anything in this world. I can't speak, I have no words. I don't even know what to say,” says an emotional Ilayaraaja. 

The music director refers to a video message he posted on August 14 when SPB’s health had deteriorated. “Balu, get up and come back soon. I am waiting for you,” he had said, adding, “Our lives don't end with just cinema. It didn't start with cinema either. The music, which we started off with at some program on some stage, has become our life and our livelihood. The music and friendship which took off at those stage shows — just like how music is inseparable from its notes, our friendship has also not parted. It was always friendship, when we fought and even when we didn't fight. You know this well and so do I.”

Overcome by emotion over the death of his friend, Ilayaraaja pauses and says, “There is a limit to every sorrow. There is no limit to this.” 

Ilayaraaja has worked with Balasubrahmanyam in many projects and their music is very much loved by their fans. This apart, Ilayaraaja shared a strong bond with Balasubrahmanyam which made the singer once remark in a reality show, “God created Ilayaraaja for me and me for Ilayaraaja”.

On August 5, singer Balasubrahmanyam was admitted to the MGM healthcare with complaints of chest congestion. The singer then tested positive for coronavirus on the same day and was receiving treatment from the hospital. However, his health condition deteriorated on August 14 and he was given treatment. He showed slight recovery and his fans along with his family and friends were expecting him to be out of danger. In this backdrop, his health worsened on Thursday and he succumbed due to a cardiac arrest on Friday.

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