CHENNAI:' Gaana Gandharva,' Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam, India's iconic playback singer, was cremated here on Saturday with full state honours in the midst of tearful farewells from friends and well-wishers and millions of fans around the world watching TV. As SP Balasubrahmanyam was fondly named, SP Balu or SPB breathed his last on Friday afternoon after struggling for life at the MGM Healthcare hospital here for 40 days.
Within his farm house, SPB Gardens, in Tamaraipaakkam, on the outskirts of Chennai, the legendary singer's final resting place was selected. In accordance with the 'sroutha saiva vaidika saiva' custom followed by the Sripathi Panditharadhula family, the ritual for his final rites was performed. His son, SP Charan, carried out the rituals in accordance with customs. Before the mortal remains of the SPB were buried, the Tamil Nadu police team issued a guard of honour. A few times before lowering their guns, they shot in the air as a show of appreciation for the departing singer.
Among the film industry celebrities who attended the funeral and consoled SP Charan and other family members, was Tamil superstar 'Thalapathy' Vijay. Andhra Pradesh Irrigation Minister Anil Kumar Yadav too attended the funeral as the representative of SPB's native state. Incidentally, SPB was from the district of Nellore and his ancestral family house is located in the constituency of the Assembly of Anil Kumar Yadav. On Friday, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh expressed his deep sorrow over the death of a famous artist. He also listened to and consoled SPB 's son Charan.
A large number of SP Balu fans flocked to the SPB Gardens to pay their last respects to their singing idol, prompting appeals by the Thiruvallur police. However, in accordance with the COVID-19 guidelines, only close family members and well-wishers were allowed inside, in addition to important film industry personalities. On Friday night, the Thirvallur police superintendent released a heartfelt appeal to the public asking them not to crowd the burial site because of the pandemic of the virus. The SPB family also changed their original plans and, on Friday night itself, moved his mortal remains to the farmhouse to prevent public crowding and traffic inconvenience on Saturday. Originally, on Saturday morning, it was arranged to carry his body at the Satyam Theatre before embarking on his last trip to the farmhouse.