Madurai is synonymous with the Meenakshi Temple.
It is here that Kunjamma -- who later achieved worldwide fame as M S Subbulakshmi -- was born on September 16, 1916, in the month of Purattasi under the star Bharani.
It is said that those born under Bharani rule the world; that girl certainly did.
Her mother Shanmukhavadivu was an accomplished veena player. But she found it difficult to pursue her passion and at the same time manage a house with three children and an extended family.
MS' father Subramanya Iyer was a lawyer. He lived in the adjacent street with his first wife and family.
Photographs: India Abroad Archives
Text: Shobha Warrier
Also see: M S, the songbird in springtime