Thursday, December 13, 2012

Snapping chords

I have to admit, the music of Pandit Ravi Shankar is not one that I came to of my own volition. Over the years, as I heard my parents play his tapes and CDs in the car, I came to appreciate his music and develop a mild affection for it. A bit like the ghazals of Jagjit Singh, what struck me was not the virtuosity of his performances, but being the unrepentant musical philistine that I am, it made 
me recall many fond memories from my childhood and adolescence.

I've been listening to a few of his albums today and I randomly wondered what Pandit Shankar recalled of his childhood and adolescence after all these years. It absolutely boggles the mind to think that Pandit Ravi Shankar started to publicly play the sitar the year Nazi Germany invaded Poland, before India won its freedom, before Mao became Chairman, before the Cold War, before man deduced the structure of DNA or went to the space or the moon, before all our modern contrivances - his performances started before and continued through it all. Till now. For this reason, I suddenly feel as if an intangible connection to the past has snapped and has cast me adrift in an unknown sea.

[His death was prefaced by those of Oscar Niemayer, Sunil Gangopadhay, etc. so you can surmise why I feel this way.]

Source: Bangladesh Old Photo Archive