Coimbatore-based environmental NGO Siruthuli dedicates SPB Vanam in memory of the legendary singer
A pathway formed like treble clef laid out amidst 74 bushes denoting 74 years of the late musical legend SP Balasubrahmanyam’s life — that is SPB vanam, an city forest developing in Coimbatore in memory of the singer. It is developed by Coimbatore-based Siruthuli, an environmental NGO, and Perur Chettipalayam Village Panchayat at a 1.5 acre reserve web site in Pachapalayam.
While Siruthuli already has Kalam vanam (a Miyawaki forest with 80,000 bushes on a 25-acre unfold of land) devoted to the late former President of India, they wished one thing related for the iconic singer. “How else do you remember a legend?” asks Vanitha Mohan, managing trustee of Siruthuli, including, “A career spanning 50 years and 42,000 songs in 16 languages is a phenomenal feat. The singer advocated people to care for Nature at his concerts, especially during COVID-19 outbreak. It touched an instant chord with us.”
Vivekh’s moments with SPB
- Actor Vivekh and SPB share one thing in frequent. Both made their appearing debut with Ok Balachandar’s Manadhil Urudhi Vendum. “He was an established singer but a newcomer to acting. Both of us spent time together on the sets discussing nuances of acting. I would list my favourite SPB songs and he would sing them for me. SPB would recall his student days when he would cycle to his engineering college and stop at a tea shop to listen to Mohammed Rafi’s song and invariably tear up every time. Then, he would joke how the shopkeeper mistook that he cried because of poor quality tea and stopped serving him tea!”
- His favorite SPB track? “There are so many gems…I will pick ‘Mannil Indha Kaadhal…’”
Once the concept took form, they selected bushes which have a musical connection. There are rows of bushes whose wooden is used to make a tabla, violin, veena or tanpura, sharing house with shenbaga bushes recognized for its aromatic, orange blossoms, and bushes that bear scented flowers like pavizha malli, paneer pushpam, and manoranjitham. “We wanted the vanam to bring back memories of the singer’s musical journey. We researched on native trees and zeroed in on teak, red sanders, ebony, rosewood, bamboo, and neem that are used to make Indian musical instruments,” says Vanitha Mohan.
The banruti pala, a particular selection of jackfruit tree that’s used to make mridangam, occupies a delight of place at the SPB vanam. To pay tribute to the devotional songs he has sung for deities in locations like Thiruvannamalai, they’ve added sthala vrikshams like nagalingam, marutham, punnai and mahilam that may be seen at historical temples. Every single tree is called after a well-liked SPB track. For instance, the first tree, the aromatic shenbagam is called after ‘Aayiram Nilavey Vaa’, his first track for the MGR-starrer Adimaipen.
“In another three years time, the green canopy will become the venue where birdsongs fill the air with a musical orchestra,” says V Chandrasekhar, convener – afforestation, Siruthuli. Drip irrigation is in place for the bushes and stakeholders like the Perur Pachapalayam Panchayat and the Officer’s Colony Association have come ahead to keep up it.
The treble clef pathway additionally serves as walker’s monitor. Soon, there might be Miyawaki forest alongside the borders too. A raised platform might be added in the center the place artistes can have musical live shows. Actor and comic Vivekh who planted the saplings of Shenbagam and Punnai bushes at the vanam is all reward for the inexperienced initiative. Vivekh can be the founder of Green Kalam and as an envoy of late president Abdul Kalam’s inexperienced motion, he has been planting saplings in a number of elements of Tamil Nadu over the previous couple of years. He emphasises, “What a beautiful way to remember an international legend… much better than erecting a statue.”