Violinist Balabhaskar dies week after car crash that also killed daughter

Balabhaskar Balabhaskar and family | Onmanorama

Renowned violinist Balabhaskar, 40, who was injured in a car accident in Thiruvananthapuram on September 25, died at a private hospital in the city at 1am on Tuesday.

Balabhaskar's two-year-old daughter, Thejaswini Bala, had died in the accident that took place at Pallipuram on the outskirts of the capital city. Balabhaskar and his family were returning after a pilgrimage in Thrissur. The accident occurred after his friend Arjun, 29, who was driving, dozed off and the car rammed a tree.

Balabhaskar's wife Lakshmi, 38, and Arjun are still being treated in hospital. The body of Balabhaskar will be cremated after postmortem on Tuesday.

Balabhaskar was the son of Chandran, a retired postmaster from Thirumala, and Santhakumari, a retired music teacher at Swathi Thirunal College of Music, Thiruvananthapuram. He has a sister, Meera.

Balabhaskar shot to fame when, as a 17-year-old, he composed music for the Malayalam film Mangalya Pallak. Balabhaskar had also composed music for films such as Kannadikadavathu and Moksham.

Balabhaskar was presented with the Bismillah Khan Yuva Sangeetkaar Puraskaar in 2008 by Kendra

Sangeet Natak Akademi for instrumental music (violin).

Balabhaskar was part of a band called 'Balaleela' and his stage performances across the country gained him popularity.

Balabhaskar's fusion performance with renowned musicians and instrumentalists like Ustad Zakir Hussain, Hariharan, Sivamani, Mattannoor Sankarankutty, Louis Banks, and Fazal Qureshi had a mix of rock and jazz with a Carnatic spin.

Musical lineage

It was Balabhaskar's uncle, reputed violinist B. Sasikumar, who passed on to his nephew the magic of the musical instrument.

Music was very much in Balabhaskar's blood—his grandfather was reputed Nadaswara musician Bhaskara Panikkar.

“I don't fear the violin,” Balabhaskar used to tell those who asked him how he could perform so well on the tough instrument.

“You seem to be so popular. Everyone is asking about you,” A.R. Rahman once told him when they met for a programme in Thiruvananthapuram, acknowledging Balabhaskar's extraordinary skills.