It was a bonding which went beyond the boundaries of their passion, and music was the common thread.

India’s cricketing great V.V.S. Laxman and legendary singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, who passed away in Chennai on Friday at the age of 74, shared a long, association of mutual respect. “We all feel empty suddenly with the demise of this great personality. Despite being a legend in his own way, he was such a humble personality,” Laxman told The Hindu over phone from Dubai, where he is mentoring Sunrisers Hyderabad in the ongoing Indian Premier League.

“I grew up listening to the evergreen songs of SPB and ever since we first met, our friendship only grew. He was a highly respected person we looked up to. He was a huge fan of cricket and well versed with the nuance of the game. I am lucky that he loved my batting,” the former cricketer said.

Only recently, Laxman had spoken to Balasubrahmanyam. “He was enquiring about Sunrisers and some of the Indians cricketers. I was also in touch with Mr Sudhakar, his brother-in-law, and was glad that SPB’s health was improving. But, unfortunately, he left us,” Laxman said, adding that they shared a very, very special association.

“I was floored by his simplicity when he readily accepted to be involved in our devotional Sai Sudha album on Sai Baba. That was a great, generous gesture from his side. I am sure SPB continues to inspire millions of Indians with his rich legacy,” Laxman concluded.

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