Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pt. Bhimsen and Mataji Nirmala Devi: Jugalbandi

Of all our dispatches that burn the rubber, he, he, he,.. on the humble tracks of IK, those about kissas of Classical greats have been seizing the most TRPs. Why  that  was  so,  we  always wondered…well, the  cat  is  out  of  the bag  today, ha, ha, ha…if  that  matters to anybody, I sayyy….!

This right and left brain thing has been bugging humanity for long. Artists have a dominant right brain, we are told. Mince their linguistic and mathematical faculties take the back seat, so to say…they thinkkk, but they can’t express..

The great Dattu Phadkar, test all-rounder who partnered Vijay Hazare in many a long inning, when honoured by a Kolhapur society famously struggled with  words of gratefulness thus… following a nervous pause he said:….

आपण माझं  फार .........’हे’.. केलंत  , त्या बध्धल मी आपला फार …’हा’.. आहे  !

So, as far our hypothesis goes, Classical audiences always wonder what our musical heroes think, believe and live, and hence the holy curiosity…, the thirst to know what they said or did apart from what they did in their artistic avatar… which was of course always in the public domain. Of course there are exceptions, and geniuses whose right and left lobes were equally blessed, we believe, include Pt. BSJ, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Kumari, Pta. Rajurkar, Pt. Jasraj…YF draws a blank on both fronts…

Cut…to

This is an unusually long Youtube visual, lasting three hours, in which Pandit BSJ sings  a number of classical abhangs soulfully, anurnaia thokada rendering being one of his greatest ever Malkaunses…we swear on the authority of Rajan Parrikar…(not Parikkar, I sayyyy….). The evening was planned by Mataji Nirmala Devi (Srivastava, nee Salve) datelined London, 30th September 1985, a sort of exposition of Marathi abhangas for the benefit of her British bhaktas.

Just you see…Panditji is totally impervious to the blandishing and the web of scholarship that host Mataji Nirmala Devi weaves, he’s blind to the studio light shone into his eyes by the film crew…communicating only with Nana Muley and Purushottam bhau…Look at the visuals…has to be British sensibility at work….first time we are allowed to behold the precious gleam, the moisture, in the eyes of the accompanists …

Missus is annoyed at the way Mataji does the व्याख्या of each abhanga, and we play the devil’s advocate…

v  How many Godmen (includes women), have invited the Tansen of our times to musically illustrate a primer on Tukaram or Namya…we aks…

v  Just you look at her scholarship, the way she explains the import of each word of the abhanga…only आजी can do that…

And finally...hold your breath...who has the broad-mindedness or guts to do this…a snap which had enraged us to no end in our adolescence, but acquires an air of respectability after we witnessed ‘What Delhi Does to 5 Year Olds’ and ‘The Cop has no Clothes ’, beg your pardon…

Indias flag lies on the feet of Mataji Nirmala Devi

For those who came in late:

Harish Salve is the pride of Maharashtra, right?! He happens to be the son of NKP Salve, who was the real real brother of Mataji Nirmala Devi, and they hailed from a Christian family of Chhindwara, MP, which had Marathi scholarship in their blood......

Mataji attained nirwana on 23rd February 2011, and NKP Salve attained the same on 1st April 2012. No one left to help poor girl Posterity figure out under what circumstances the learned Mataji had the tri-colour placed 'neath her twiddling toes...the snap is condemned to remaining ('remaining', not 'remain', I sayyyy...mind your infinitives and gerunds...ehh..?) an enduring mystery..

Mataji was the progenitor of ‘Sahaj yoga’, brought common sense to meditation, acknowledging the fact that the mind will be chanchal, and the best way for the practitioner to deal with the brigand during meditation is not to strain and strive to control it, but to allow it to stray like a butterfly, for eventually it is bound to settle on a flower…

NKP was the BCCI chief under whose stewardship, in 1983, India won the World Cup, आणि च्याल्ल्ल्ल्ला मराठी मानुस  व्हता नाहिका …? माताजी बि …?

2 comments:

B.Jawahar Reddy said...

Sitting in this way with our national symbol is unjustified whatever way sir. I heard this lady and i can't believe she did that. Big surprise she is aunt of Harish Salve who i have seen from close quarters. But you idea about why we appreciate musician's tales is convincing. Only kindly translate your Marathi for non Marathis like me.

Carl von 'Bailiff said...

Ya thanks! Will remember regarding translation, whatever it's worth....