She sang the thousand names of Vishnu, and she continues to give power to our daily lives through her Suprabhatams, and each and every bit of song. And all we remember is the colour of a saree, MS Blue!
None of her official website, or The Hindu’s special publication show the MS blue colour of her saree – Except the book of Shakunthala Ramani of Kalakshetra – (the saree has a copper sulphate or Anandha blue hue with Navy blue (Rettai pettu) border)
These two pictures below are from the The Hindu’s special publication MS Revisited – There is no mention of MS blue here either.
Two years back when I did the Textile trail of T.Nagar, Shri Nalli mentioned the story of how MSS walked with a particular shade of blue with a sample silk yarn. According to him, this exquisite MS Blue shade was an interplay of 7-8 colours of blue pigments, and of course Muthu Chettiar wove the saree for her. She would never wear anyone else’s sarees, you see! She would never touch a “kumbakonam saree”, and for her it was always a “Kanjeevaram” saree..
Google for MS Blue colour, each retailer defines their own MS Blue lexicon.
When I met Mrs. Gowri Ramnarayan recently, I inquired whether the family had an old sample of the famous MS Blue. There was none.
The below picture of MF Husain who dedicated her portrait in 2004 at Madras – It shows her in a deep red sari, with the trademark nose and earrings, and jasmine strands in her “Kondai”. What he mentioned was more interesting – ” Thirty years ago, the Benares universtiy honoured her with a doctorate. She sang for just two minutes. It was so divine, I can never forget it in my lifetime”
For me, the below photo in black and white evokes so many emotions than her MS blue saree. The spritual connect makes us yearn for whatever MSS wore or sang.
The picture is before the recording of Venkatesa Suprabhatam, and she learnt the perfect pronunciation from the Sanskrit tutelage of Agnihotram Thathachari Iyengar