It’s raining outside, sez Missus. We can’t believe her, it was so baloney hot in the afternoon, and as usual, what we do not believe , coming from her, comes true, that’s one of the ektu-ektu tragedies of our May-fly existence. But then annything is possible in Shillooonnggg! It’s a walk in the clouds…Meghalaya..
We have reached a certain emotional highpoint this night, and wish to capture that moment on celluloid. We have picked out seven or eight compositions in Malkauns aka Hindolam and can’t resist adding an abhang in Shivranjini to the playlist. It’s around 0100 AM and mercifully Boss has turned inn. The sequence of the unmaad- the crescendo of the buoyancy arises like thisss-
Shillong choir- Lajong- in the finals
Shillong choir- Lajong- in the finals
– Hindi song- akhiyan sang
Pt. Sanjeev Abhayankar
Pt. Bhimsen- Anuraniya thokada
Pt. Bhimsen-Anuraniya shorter version.
Pt. Bhimsen- Raajasa Sukumaar (contains the two greatest taans that ever fell on a human ear)
As we get elevated from Umiam to Shillong if you know- 3500 ft. to 5000 over barely 15 km, - the terai Himalayas to the Himalayan Himalayas, the journey appears to be more skewed than anticipated :more like (ii) than (i):
that is, the contrast between Pt. Bhimsen and the others is starker than anticipated. It’s like comparing the water tanks that dot Delhi, with the Qutb Minar ( idam na mama--Late Nikhil Chakravarty’s idea- Mainstream of Gole Market, in context of Sanjay Gandhi vs. Mahatma Gandhi- hhha...). You keep on praising sr. no. I to 5, as you would praise kids in your family, just to egg them on…gustakhwi muafff..
Anyway, God bless the boys. What had really provoked us to reach for the keyboard today were the goings-on of Thursday, the 6th September. Got distracted on the way, sorry.
We returned with Missus from our trip to Mokokchung, Nagaland (not Mokongchuk boss..) on Wednesday. The next day was promised to be a bandh day, a welcome indulgence for us North Easterners- a bonus holiday, lots of bonuses we get. But in due course we were reminded that Chabiwala Bank was recruiting people, and interviews were scheduled on that day well in advance. As it turned out, it was YF who was wearing the pants or the jensem unnoticed by him, and was squarely responsible for steering the vessel through the turbulent waters…
At 9.30 AM we trotted out of 2/149 (or is it 4/129?) , Lummawrie, Laitumkrah, c/o Kong Dr. Biloris Lyndem, there were no vehicles plying on the streets. Suddenly CMs cavalcade ran through, the usual biker leading the charge. Well, the call was given by the KSA boys, 5.00 AM to 5.00 PM, in protest against the vakra-drishti of our big brothers (Indians, our mind spoils to say) who claimed to be our maai-baaps and were supposed to offer us succour in the first place.
Whereas....Mom and Missus were decidedly against our venturing out into the streets unaccompanied, a welcome congruence, we found no option. Infact Mama Biloris also favoured our being indoors, but then she also had issues against our going to Mokokchung (not Mokongchuk) earlier the week.
Office (Ophis in Khasi) happens to be about 2 kms from home. Some 60 kids had been invited for the interviews that day and we were airing messages to the prospects on Red FM 93.5. Girls and Boys come out to play, the Moon doth shine as bright as day, he,he,he…Come with a whoop, Come with a call, Come with a good-will or come not at all...wagairah, wagairah..(James Orchard Halliwell, Better English, Class -II : that volume smelled the best, our vintage memory cells remind us-can’t be reproduced here at this stage). Being on the same side as the KSA- for Meghalaya, of Meghalaya- we did not expect resistance. We carried the ID Card of Chabiwala Bank in our sweating palms, talisman like. But then we were all trepidation. Looking behind our ears, as Philip Neelam of Delhi B, All India Radio used to playfully say.. Groups of students were gathered at every corner, but milk of human kindness dekho- no one obstructed us. The faces were neutral, if not positively smiling.. Meanwhile, cell sticking to our left ear, we learnt that although the interviewees were at their stations, the interview panel was nowhere in sight. Frantically, we called the ADGP Police for help, and in no time forces were pressed into service. Instead of the normal 60%, 80% appeared that day for the interviews. If there is Xenophobia, it is not in the North East, it’s there in places like Maharashtra myaaan. No kyaash in my pyaant and I am Myanayjer Cwapretiue Byankk.
Boss rightly says good that there are restrictions on outsiders buying property in the hill states, otherwise bahar ke saale.. is natural beauty ko bech khaayen..that is outsiders would sell all this natural beauty for a song..Amen!
To return to sthayi- lest the matter slip out of our mind for ever, on the way to Kaziranga, riding our white steed, Missus and YF had a discussion on the issue of personalities of our top artistes, with reference to percussion instruments like tabla or the cymbals. Pardon us for chhota munh badi baat…it’s mere speculation.. the Statutory Warning applies to the entire Blog… maaindyu haan…
VidushiKA: Beyond question, the Topmost Vocalist Kong- she’s like the mother-in-law, who, when she returns home from work, checks whether the home is dusted and cleaned. Everybody accepts and loves her imperious looks and her tabalchi sensitivities. She lays down the rule of the game meticulously. Witness Jani Jay Paniyasi:
Kindly click it if you want to meet the Almighty. Don’t bother him-her-or-it, if you already know himherorit, YT can’t vouch for that part. Hamen uska pataaa..nahi maloom..nahi maloom..nahi maloom..nahi maloooommm..seriously..that’s the celebrated qawwali from Habib Painter Qawwal..about that later..
PtJ: Beyond question, the Topmost Vocalist Ba alive, especially after the departure of Pt. Bhimsen- doesn’t tolerate tabalchis with attitude. The Hairy One accompanies him for points occasionally, but stays within his aukaat. Mince, we’ve heard him yaaar…..at a Patna conference, Ba is reputed to have once peremptorily ordained as he mounted the stage- tabalchi- bhaiyya- amplifier mey sab jeero-jeero kar do. He is the inveterate teacher, and the troupe lays done rules of the game before-hand, without coercion. Here it is- do click it:
Marhoom Bharat Ratna Panditji- Shahenshah of taan…..would wear an invisible garb- a halo of swaras around his person- his son says. Never bothered to check with the tabalchi in advance. Accompanists were all so charged up. They knew they had an appointment with the Divine, and the He gave them Wisdom. The accompanists lost track of themselves. An unknown force guided them, hand-held them. Look at Anuraniya Thokada, full length.
The tabalchi Nana Muley is so excited. Panditji is Music Incarnate. Tyanche vaibhaw aaglech...The Universe was his garden and the Skies, his umbrella.. As a perceptive observer remarked once...Bande mey tha dum..
PtHPC: Top flautist: Very indulgent and tolerant. Avuncular in fact. Allows the Pushy One to dance on his head without a smirk or shikan on his face. No illustration required here. It’s banned here boss.