Thursday, August 24, 2006

marauding mughal memorial


he chose to sing one last thumri. apparently as a show of strength. though i was never there, i know the scene. prayer mat in one corner of the hospital room. packet of wills navy cut on a side table. always within reach. a shehnai too. and then with chest heaving, entwined in a million govt. paid ventilator tubes. hands outstretched with a citizen watch gleaming in the dour hospital room light. a century old voice in one last act of defiance.
i think an XL sized tear welled when i heard he'd passed on. bismillah khan. and inconsequential as it may seem, the ustad remains the only person, who's feet i touched in humble reverence. and it was impulsive. i met the man. in another dour room. on another day. and i knew instantly. i was touched by genius.
i will never forget.

3 comments:

Hari Potter said...

And if we're lucky neither will India. RIP Ustadji.

tangled said...

they all have it... the one i met was M.S. they change the way you look at things :)

Sine Qua Non said...

a random afternoon at school, i walked into the auditorium expecting some boring recitation/ cultural education type scene. An old man beamed at us from the stage. Ustad Bismillah Khan in all his glory. The sudden temper, the childlike smile,the mischief....the music.
A hundred children walked out at the end, mesmerised...culturally educated. and how:)
i will never forget!