Pt. Bhimsen Joshi : Death of A Person , End of An Era


 

On Monday,  January 24, 2011, when I was reaching Lokmanya Tilak Terminus , Mumbai to catch my train to Varanasi , on the way I read about Pt. Bhimsen Joshi’s sad demise  on somebody’s twitter handle. I was shocked.

 

LIVING WITH A LEGEND: Shrinivas Joshi with his...

Image by Ravi Karandeekar via Flickr- Pt. Bhimsen Joshi with his son

I am fortunate , lucky and blessed that I have attended one of his concerts and could see him and listen him in person.  I remember as if it happened only yesterday. I was new in Mumbai [ then Mumbai was still Bombay ] And there was a buzz about the first Elephanta Festival. I read in news papers that Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and Sonal Mansingh would perform live for that festival. In those days of my existence , I had no money even for two proper meals. So buying ticket for the concert was almost impossible. I decided to skip my food for some coming days and bought the ticket. I took the first boat to Elephanta Island [ known in local parlance as Ghara Puri Bet ] and reached there. Since the concert was in the evening and I reached much earlier, I started roaming around. I saw all the caves. I eagerly waited for the evening to descend on the island. But for me , that day , time was moving slowly. Eventually the sun set in the west and the azure sky turned grey and finally black. Night came and slowly darkness engulfed the island completely. I reached the venue and took my seat. I was hungry and tired but I was eagerly waiting for Pandit ji to come. Suddenly a deafening sound of claps and whistles  erupted and Pandit Bhimsen Joshi appeared on the stage. He sat on the dias and started his AALAP. Slowly I started getting mesmerized . His voice gradually reached crescendo and , and I forgot my hunger pangs and cramps and was transported to another world.  It went on for complete two hours and I sat there completely engrossed and enchanted. Programme ended and I took the boat back and reached my place. I had to survive on Vada-Pao for some days but I never regretted my decision and today when he is gone, I consider myself fortunate and blessed that I attended the concert and was able to hear him once in my life.

I am not an expert of Indian Classical Music so I can’t give detailed analysis or critique of his expertise or his mastery over various RAGAS. I am just a lover or connoisseur of Indian Classical Music , so I can simply express my feelings for Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and his ability to get an ordinary lover of music like me , to get hooked to his music permanently.

Later on when I was well enough to buy some cassettes and cds, I bought and listened admiringly. I like and admire vocalists like Dagar Brothers, Pandit Onkar Nath Thakur,  Pandit Kumar Gandharv, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Rajan Mishra & Pandit Sajan Mishra of VARANASI and Pandit Mallikarjun Mansoor. But for me PANDIT BHIMSEN JOSHI will always be special because I could attend his concert and could listen him personally. He is the only Indian Classical musician, apart from Pandit Ravi Shankar & Ustad Alla Rakha Khan, whose concerts I have attended but they are instrumentalists. So they are in different league.

 

Bharat Ratna

Image via Wikipedia

 

PANDIT BHIMSEN JOSHI came from a humble beginning. He was born in the Kannadiga Brahmin family of GADAG village of DHARWAD district of KARNATAKA. Left his home when he was 11 years old and in search of his GURU went from one place to another. During those formative years, sometimes he had to beg and once he had to become servant also in the house of Bengali actor Pahadi Sanyal for his survival. But when he attained success, he never looked back. Few people know that he had a brief career as a  play back singer also. In 1956 he sang a duet for a Hindi film ” Basant Bahar ” along with Manna Dey. He sang for some Marathi films also. In 1985 he sang Mile Sur Mera Tumhara for Door Darshan and attained mass recognition and adulation. He was awarded Padma Shri in 1972, Padma Bhushan in 1985, Padma Vibhushan in 1999 and finally Bharat Ratna in 2008. Apart from Lata Mangeshkar, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Bismillah Khan, he is the fourth recipient of the highest national honour among all the eminent members of this music fraternity.

Today PANDIT BHIMSEN JOSHI is gone but his music will enthrall the connoisseurs of Indian Classical Music for centuries to come.

VIDUR

VARANASI – UTTAR PRADESH – INDIA

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My Association with ” Dhobi Ghat “


Today , on January 21, 2011 Aamir Khan‘s film Dhobi Ghat is releasing worldwide. Aamir Khan is known for his quality work and penchant for perfection. But Kiran Rao is unknown as for as her working style is concerned. So when I got a call from Advait Chandan , Kiran Rao’s Associate Director , for supervising the dubbing of the film, I was apprehensive initially. I was wary of a star wife, who is making her debut. I didn’t jump at the offer. But since Aamir Khan’s name was involved and in the credits of the film , he is billed as the producer as well as lead actor , I agreed to be part of the film.  After all, who will not be tempted to work with Aamir Khan ?

THE PRESENT BANNER OF AAMIR KHAN PRODUCTIONS

Image via Wikipedia

I reached a studio in Bandra and met Kiran Rao. I must admit that after meeting her all my apprehensions disappeared and I was pleasantly surprised . Kiran Rao is so unassuming and easy-going girl that I developed an instant admiration for her. She introduced herself to me and then introduced me to her artiste Kriti Malhotra and other assistants and members of her technical team. I started my work. Kriti Malhotra started dubbing her part. You can see the studio and Kriti’s photo on the monitor in following photos.

Kiran Rao’s penchant for perfect accent of Uttar Pradesh and her insistence on details was a revelation. She was very particular about Urdu pronunciation also. She was insistent that accent of Uttar Pradesh should come clearly and prominently in the dialogues of Kriti , as she is playing a muslim girl from Uttar Pradesh. I am posting my photo with Kriti Malhotra.

I must admit that Kriti Malhotra is very hard-working girl, though she is not an actor by profession. She is a costume designer and lives in Pune and has never visited Uttar Pradesh. Despite the obvious handicaps, she worked hard and mastered the accent. I must say that Kiran Rao should also be congratulated because she had guts to cast a rank newcomer [ who is basically not an actor by profession ] in her debut film as a director.

From Bandra to Versova, dubbing continued in various dubbing studios and I got opportunity to know Kiran Rao personally. Now I admire her as a film maker.

Her Sound Designer and the whole technical team was fabulous. It was a nice working experience. I shall always be proud of the fact that I have an association with this amazing film called ” Dhobi Ghat .” I am yet to watch it completely, but I have gut feeling that after ” Lagaan ” , ” Taare Zameen par ” and ” Peepli [ Live ] ” , Aamir Khan has again a winner in his hands.

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Secularism & Kashmiri Pandits


What is secularism ? It is a pertinent question and I am asking it in all my seriousness. For some it is standing up and speaking for Muslims and for some it is speaking up and standing for Hindus. For some secularism means that if you are a Hindu and you stand up and speak for a Muslim cause, you are a true secular. And for another one it means that if you are a Muslim and you speak up and stand for a Hindu cause, you are a true secular. Let us converge on this point and start thinking about the true definition of secularism. For me secularism means equidistant from all the religions and standing up and speaking for all the just causes of all the communities of India ; whether Hindu or Muslim or Christian or Jews. But in our country a distorted version of secularism is in vogue. People remember and protest on December 06, which is the anniversary of the demolition of Babri Mosque. People remember and protest on the anniversary of Gujarat riots also, but today, on the 22nd anniversary of the exile of the Kashmiri Hindus, all the intelligentsia, all the jhola chhap , pig-headed journalists and all the self-proclaimed nationalist anchors of various channels are keeping an intriguing silence. There is no word of support, no coverage on news channels and no media discussion is planned.

Rear View of the Babri Mosque.

Image via Wikipedia - Rear View of Babri Mosque

The skyline of Ahmedabad filled with smoke as ...

Image via Wikipedia - Ahmedabad in Flames

What is the reason of such a deafening silence on this anniversary. Why barring few known supporters of Panun Kashmir movement, every individual, every news paper, every news channel is silent.  vociferous twitter world is also silent. I thought about this and since 140 letter restriction is too prohibitive, I thought of writing a blog and post it today, so that the whole world should know my true feelings. I am taking the obvious risk of being called a communal for supporting a Hindu cause. But think for a while. Are Kashmiri Pandits not entitled to their home-land ? Are their just causes and grievances shouldnt be looked into and should be taken care off ? It is communal to voice your views on this topic ? In this country, if you can voice your view about Babri Demolition, if you can give vent to your anger on Gujarat Riots, then surely you can raise your voice also for Kashmiri Pandits and for their Home-Land.

Marking the three regions of the Indian state ...

Image via Wikipedia - 3 Regions of jammu & Kashmir

It is so painful and traumatic to be a refugee in your own country, and that too for 22 long years. Government of India is silent. Government of Jammu & Kashmir is silent. Whole world is keeping a callous silence and in these 22 years a whole new generation of Kashmiri Pandits are born and brought up in the shanties and refugee-camps of various neglected corners of this nation called India. I am pained, ashamed and disgusted. Since few million Pandits can’t get them votes in large chunks, so every politician is silent. Since talking about then can be considered communal, no news channel and anchor is interested. Only Kanchan Gupta of Pioneer tweeted about the plight .Instead of writing any thing else it is better to re-produce some pertinent tweets of Kashmiri Pandits. Please go through these emotional tweets and the photo of a refugee Hindu girl :

Refugee Retreat

Image by niharg via Flickr

Sharnarthee
Sharnarthee Sharnarthee 

The night from hell, 20 years later http://goo.gl/Vx0Dx [Kashmiri Pandits Ethnic Cleansing] #kp #kpexile #panunkashmir
»
Sharnarthee
Sharnarthee Sharnarthee 

Mr Prime Minister, please walk the talk http://im.rediff.com/news/2003/apr/08guest.htm [Kashmiri Pandits] @kp #kpexile
»
senthil
nativethoughts senthil 

@
@Sharnarthee @BDUTT wont care abt you, bcoz for her only muslims are eligible kashmiris.. that’s how all her programme projects..
»
Pawan Durani
pawandurani Pawan Durani 

@
@ashithakur try http://www.ikashmir.net @Sharnarthee would help … I dont have a search engine working here …behind firewall
»
Bhargav
debe0 Bhargav 

@
@Sharnarthee Stringing random incidents & naming it saffron terror is secular. Ignoring Pandits & their saffron fields is secular 2 @BDUTT
»
Sharnarthee
Sharnarthee Sharnarthee 

@bdutt @sardesairajdeep @vikramchandra When U r done lobbying, chk out @rahulbagati ‘s story of survival & report Kashmiri Pandits exodus
»
Sharnarthee
Sharnarthee Sharnarthee 

Recognize, Remember and Revere Kashmiri Pandits Martyrs http://www.kashmiri-pandit.org/projectr3/index1.php @kp @kpexile @panunkashmir
»
Praveen Pandey
praveen30 Praveen Pandey 

@
@Sharnarthee @sardesairajdeep @vikramchandra @BDUTT @sagarikaghose @rahulkanwal @newsx Is holocaust against Kashmiri Pandits is Kashmiriyat?
»
Right_Wingdian
Right_Wingdian Right_Wingdian 

@
@Sharnarthee @BDUTT Despite being kashmiri, you think she cares! Don’t waste breath friend! She’s busy stringing ppl for cab reshuffle! 🙂
»
sukanya Devi
sukanyadevi sukanya Devi 

@
@Sharnarthee these dolts only entertain ‘civilized’ stone pelters @sardesairajdeep @vikramchandra @BDUTT @sagarikaghose @rahulkanwal #KP
»
Sharnarthee
Sharnarthee Sharnarthee 

@sardesairajdeep @vikramchandra @BDUTT @sagarikaghose @rahulkanwal Ur silence about Kashmiri Pandits ethnic cleansing is CRIMINAL. #kp
»
Refugeeblues
RefugeeBlues Refugeeblues 

@
@Sharnarthee @sardesairajdeep @vikramchandra after that Mr Digvijay is important not hapless 1 Million kashmiri refugees. We r Indian Dogs.
»
Sharnarthee
Sharnarthee Sharnarthee 

@
@sunandavashisht We have to shame mainstream media. They can’t get away with their criminal silence (Kashmiri Pandits) #kp #kpexile
»
Sharnarthee
Sharnarthee Sharnarthee 

@sardesairajdeep @vikramchandra When ur channels r done reporting who Rakhi Sawant is marrying next, do report Kashmiri Pandits’ exodus #kp
@Sharnarthee What fun is it covering law abiding citizens who don’t turn violent ever. Stone pelters far more interesting story.
»
Sharnarthee
Sharnarthee Sharnarthee 

@bdutt @sagarikaghose @rahulkanwal When ur channels r done reporting robbing of SBI ATM, do report who robbed Kashmiri Pandits of their home
»
Sharnarthee
Sharnarthee Sharnarthee 

Mainstream media 2 busy reporting who Veena Malik slept with. Meanwhile Kashmiri Pandits enter 22nd year of their exile. #kp #kpexile @bdutt
»
Sharnarthee
Sharnarthee Sharnarthee 

Daddy, why can’t we go to Kashmir? http://www.kashmirherald.com/featuredarticle/whycantwegotokashmir.html (Kashmiri Pandits)
»
Sharnarthee
Sharnarthee Sharnarthee 

RT @Sharnarthee: Mr PM, spare a moment for Kashmiri Hindushttp://bit.ly/ha6nPf #kashmiripandit
»
»
Sharnarthee
Sharnarthee Sharnarthee 

 

Sharnarthee
Sharnarthee Sharnarthee 

RT @Sharnarthee: Mr PM, spare a moment for Kashmiri Hindushttp://bit.ly/ha6nPf #kashmiripandit
Sunanda Vashisht
sunandavashisht Sunanda Vashisht 

by Sharnarthee
When yaseen mallik killer of pandits fasts Indian PM intervenes. PM doesn’t say a word to thousands of pandits languishing in exile#KP
Sharnarthee
Sharnarthee Sharnarthee 

Kiran Kumar S
KiranKS Kiran Kumar S 

by Sharnarthee
India’s secularism is a farce, when #Kashmir Pandits live in refugee camps, kicked out of their 5000yr old home. #KP
Kanchan Gupta
KanchanGupta Kanchan Gupta 

by Sharnarthee
No less tragic is the strange blindness that afflicts Indians who too have forsaken Kashmiri Pandits. Mere words of sympathy are irrelevant
Kanchan Gupta
KanchanGupta Kanchan Gupta 

by Sharnarthee
Congress has failed to stand by Pandits, so too BJP when it was in power. Tragically, both believe this will placate Islamists. It won’t.
Kanchan Gupta
KanchanGupta Kanchan Gupta 

by Sharnarthee
New Delhi’s intellectually bankrupt commentariat, bogus intellectuals and frauds with jholas have arm-twisted Govt to abandon Pandits.
Kanchan Gupta
KanchanGupta Kanchan Gupta 

by Sharnarthee
It’s a mocking shame that Left-libbers who control public discourse from TV studios have erased plight of Pandits from nation’s memory.
Sharnarthee
Sharnarthee Sharnarthee 

@
@centerofright Thank You very much for sharing our pain. #kp#kpexile #KashmiriPandits #KashmiriHindus #PanunKashmir
Sharnarthee
Sharnarthee Sharnarthee 

@
@BDUTT I Don’t CARE. I am observing my 22nd year in exile….Hell with cabinet reshuffle. .Doesn’t change anything for me and my community.
Pawan Durani
pawandurani Pawan Durani 

by rahulbagati
Advt of JK Govt had placed rehablitation of Kashmiri Pandits under the topic of Animal Husbandry http://twitpic.com/3rdt76 #KP
Abi Shaw
Abi_2 Abi Shaw 

by rahulbagati
Video of Ethnic Cleaning of Kashmiri Panditshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCRFWStxV_4 #KP#roguemedia
Aditya Raj Kaul
AdityaRajKaul Aditya Raj Kaul 

by rahulbagati
21 years ago on 19th Jan 1990 I was hidden inside a cloth by my mother to leave the valley under the threat of gun! I live in exile since.
Rahul B
rahulbagati Rahul B 

What an irony the PM of this country, a refugee himself, fails to understand the plight of #KP
Rahul B
rahulbagati Rahul B 

Yes Media Yes, we understand #KP exile is a stale news it happened 22 years ago and cabinet reshuffle is breaking!
Rahul B
rahulbagati Rahul B 

@
@Mahesh_Kelkar man don’t tell me.. i m a real short investor.. my short is six months 😉
Shailesh Pandey
shaileshkpandey Shailesh Pandey 

by rahulbagati
#kp & kashmiri pandits are TRENDING -and this is one input our MEDIA(TORS) is ignoring shamelessly…bury ur already dead credibility MSM !!
Pawan Durani
pawandurani Pawan Durani 

by rahulbagati
NewsX is doing a 30 minute special on Kashmiri Pandits tonight .#KP #KPExile22Years
Rahul B
rahulbagati Rahul B 

@
@Mahesh_Kelkar buy if you plan to stay for really long period
Kunal Majumder
kunalmajumder Kunal Majumder 

by rahulbagati 

@
@mujtaba_s @gsurya @mspointofview the argument that Jagmohan or the govt threw the Kashmiri Pandits is heavily flawed.
Kunal Majumder
kunalmajumder Kunal Majumder 

by rahulbagati 

@
@mujtaba_s @gsurya @mspointofview A prosperous community like Kashmiri Pandits cant be thrown out just by the wims of a govt or a person
Kiran Kumar S
KiranKS Kiran Kumar S 

by rahulbagati 

@
@soulinexile That Jagmohan must have been a superman. He “single handedly” caused the largest exodus in independent India! @rahulbagati #KP
piyush bakshi
neophyteblogger piyush bakshi 

by rahulbagati
For some Gujarat is genocide and what happened to Kashmiri Pandits is leaving for better opportunities.
Soul in Exile
soulinexile Soul in Exile 

by rahulbagati
Dear @ShashiTharoor -atleast today, for mere tokenism of being married to a #KP – you can tweet about KP’s in Exile. Aah! buts that communal
Pawan Durani
pawandurani Pawan Durani 

by rahulbagati
Kashmiri Pandits – The Last Journey From Sarda http://bit.ly/i8cley#KP #KPExile22Years
Pawan Durani
pawandurani Pawan Durani 

by rahulbagati
The threats havent stopped yet ! http://bit.ly/el9lWp #KP Kashmiri Pandits #KPExile22Years
Rahul B
rahulbagati Rahul B 

@
@SushmaSwarajBJP I hope BJP does remember its the 22nd exodus of #KP Afterall you claim to be closest to the solution!
Pawan Durani
pawandurani Pawan Durani 

by rahulbagati
#1901990: Late night we were watching footing of Romanian revoultion and its Prez Ceauşescu ,Suddenly mosques ordered us to leave #KP
Rahul B
rahulbagati Rahul B 

@
@soulinexile plz use #kp hastag
Kiran Kumar S
KiranKS Kiran Kumar S 

by rahulbagati
Grand 22nd rerun in ‘secular’ theaters: “No One kicked out Kashmiri Pandits”
Rahul B
rahulbagati Rahul B 

@
@pawandurani she hasnt replied only.. chup ho gayee after my second question..@biorahul
Rahul B
rahulbagati Rahul B 

Look what I found – Ex. CM G.N.Azad had assured return to #KPwithin 3 years in 2006, its the 5th yr nw http://bit.ly/h16K7h #kashmir
Varad Varenya
VaradVarenya Varad Varenya 

by rahulbagati
@abdullah_omar Today #Pandits have entered in 22nd Year of#Exile. And no convictions/probes/enquiries on #Exodus. Any reason dear CM ? #KP
himanshu
himanshujmohan himanshu 

by rahulbagati
Butcher of Pandits was freed during 2006 by secular govthttp://bit.ly/eiV2Ej #KP The garland picture
Soul in Exile
soulinexile Soul in Exile 

by rahulbagati 

@
@AdityaRajKaul Probe for what? Reports were submitted by Benazir long ago – it says Jagmohan Jagmohan Jagmohan#Kashmir @abdullah_omar
Aditya Raj Kaul
AdityaRajKaul Aditya Raj Kaul 

by rahulbagati 

@
@abdullah_omar When do you plan to probe forced exodus of half a million Kashmiri Pandits ? #Kashmir
Pawan Durani
pawandurani Pawan Durani 

by rahulbagati
Thank you tweeple both #KP and ” Kashmiri Pandit ” r top most trending , though non in media has so far discussed it#KPExile22Years
Pawan Durani
pawandurani Pawan Durani 

by rahulbagati
RT @scamsutrahttp://bit.ly/gQpFBF Deathly Silence #KP Kashmiri Pandits #KPExile22Years
Aditya Raj Kaul
AdityaRajKaul Aditya Raj Kaul 

by rahulbagati
Omar Abdullah outside #MHA says ‘we are incomplete without Pandits’ – Give him a nobel for talking! When will he probe our exodus? #Kashmir
Rahul B
rahulbagati Rahul B 

@
@pawandurani leave Agnishekar we can hav Ajayji, T.N.Razdan, R.L.Bhat any one @biorahul
Kiran Kumar S
KiranKS Kiran Kumar S 

by rahulbagati
1st kicked out of Hindu Kush, then (Pak) Punjab, Sindh, most of Bengal.. then Kashmiri Pandits story. The sorry tale of Hindu ‘shrinkage’
Pawan Durani
pawandurani Pawan Durani 

by rahulbagati
Kashmiri Hindus enter 22nd Year of Exile: wp.me/pvyy0-hu via @ZoomIndianMedia #KP Kashmiri Pandits

Official seal of the Government of Jammu and K...

Image via Wikipedia - Seal of J&K

[ Jammu & Kashmir is the only state of India, which has its own Constitution , Insignia and Flag. It has special powers under Article 370. Its identity is secured. ]

Flag of the State of Jammu and Kashmir (Indian...

Image via Wikipedia - Flag of J & K

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Suchitra Mitra : আর নাই রে বেলা…. [ Aar Nai Re Bela ]


আর নাই রে বেলা , নামল ছায়া ধরানি তে
আজ চল রে ঘাটে কলস খানি ভরে নিতে ………আর নাই রে বেলা
জানি না আর ফিরিব কি না , কার সাথে আজ হবে চিনা
ঘাটে সেই অজানা বাজায়ে বীনা তরণী তে ………আর নাই রে বেলা

[ I don’t have enough time now. Evening sun’s shadow is descending on earth. Let us go with our empty pitcher and get it filled with water from the banks of the river [ of life ]………..I don’t have time now. I don’t know whether I will be returning again to this world or not………I don’t know with whom I am going to be introduced today in another unknown world , [ in my next life ]……………… the same unknown divine one is playing flute on the bank of river and waiting for me in the canoe, to take me away………………… I don’t have time now………… ]

It is quite difficult and a daunting task indeed to translate above mentioned lines written by Rabindra Nath Tagore [ Thakur ] and sung by Suchitra Mitra . I have tried to translate these lines as per my ability and I express my regret if I have made any mistakes. This and numerous other songs written and coposed by Rabindra Nath Tagore [ Thakur ] and sung by Suchtra Mitra are part of my life and being.

 

In Berlin, 1930

Image via Wikipedia - Tagore in Berlin 1930

I started learning Bengali in 1969 when I was in the 11th standard and when I was studying in the Government Inter College , Allahabad. I got a fantastic book to learn Bengali, written by Gopal Chandra Chakraborty ” Vedantshastri ” and within a year I started reading and writing Bengali fluently. Though I couldn’t speak it too fluently for lack of practise.  Slowly I got introduced to Bengali literature and cuisine. I was hugely influenced and impressed by the writings of Rabindra Nath Tagore [ Thakur ] . In due course of time I got to know about Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul Geeti also. I started listening Rabindra Sangeet and was hooked to it immediately. I used to listen Rabindra Sangeet sung by Hemant Kumar Mukhopadhyay, known to Hindi speaking audience as Hemant Kumar initially. But later on I moved on to Suchitra Mitra.

Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel prize for li...

Image via Wikipedia - Rabeendra Nath Tagore

When I came to Mumbai in 1989, I got a pack of two cassettes of Rabeendra Sangeet sung by Suchitra Mitra, as a gift. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan played Sarod along with Suchtra Mitra. I was new to her world and after listening the cassettes for the first time, I was hooked.  Needless to say that I became a huge fan of Suchitra Mitra and I am an avid follower of her music till today. She became a permanent source of inspiration.

আগুনের  পারাস্মানি ছুয়াও  প্রাণে , এ জীবন পূর্ণ করো , এ জীবন পূর্ণ করো

Above mentioned song or the song I am giving below are part of my daily life. Whenever I am sad or feel lonely they come to give me company and reverberate in the dark , sad and lonely corners of my heart and sooth my ruffled feelings. Immortal words, enchanting music and heavenly voice of Suchitra Mitra , they all are permanent source of calmness and inspiration for me.

যদি তোর ডাক সুনে কেউ না আসে তবে একলা চলো রে
একলা  চলো একলা  চলো একলা  চলো একলা  চলো রে

Suchitra Mitra was born on September 19, 1924. She learnt music from legendary Pankaj Mullick. Apart from Rabindra Sangeet , she sang for films also. She acted in one film. She was awarded Padma Shri in 1973 and was appointed Sheriff of Kolkata in 2001. She died on January 03, 2011 due to cardiac arrest in Kolkata. I deeply mourn the death of this legendary singer , who is par-excellence and immortal and whose songs are part of my being.

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

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250 Years of ” The Third Battle of Panipat “


On January 14, 2011, when Hindus all over the world were celebrating Makar Sankranti, not many remembered that on this very day 250 years ago Sadashivrao Bhau along with his army was fighting a losing battle for us in the Kala Amb near Panipat. Known in history as theThird Battle of Panipat where army of Marathas fought Afghan invader Ahmed Shah Durrani a.k.a. Ahmed Shah Abdali. Battle ended within few hours and roughly 60,000/70,000 . soldiers got killed. The Maratha line was 12 km. across, with the artillery in front, protected by infantry while the cavalry was instructed to wait behind the artillery. This tactical mistake proved fatal. Without any instruction waiting cavalry started moving forward causing casualties among Maratha soldiers leading to the infamous defeat. Though Marathas lost the battle due to strategic mistake, no one dared to attack India after this battle for many years.

The flag of the Maratha Empire.

Image via Wikipedia - Flag of Maratha Empire

The Third Battle of Panipat took place on 14 January 1761, at Panipat (Haryana State, India), about 60 miles (95.5 km) north of Delhi. The battle pitted the French-supplied artillery and cavalry of the Marathas against the heavy cavalry and mounted artillery(zamburak and jizail) of the Afghans led by Ahmad Shah Durrani, an ethnic Pashtun, also known as Ahmad Shah Abdali. The battle is considered one of the largest battles fought in the 18th century.

Flag of the Emirate of Herat, and of the Durra...

Image via Wikipedia - Flag of Afghan Empire

The decline of the Mughal Empire had led to territorial gains for the Maratha Confederacy. Ahmad Shah Abdali, amongst others, was unwilling to allow the Marathas’ gains to go unchecked. In 1759, he raised an army from the Pashtun tribes and made several gains against the smaller garrisons. The Marathas, under the command of Sadashivrao Bhau, responded by gathering an army of between 70,000-100,000 people with which they ransacked the Mughal capital of Delhi. There followed a series of skirmishes along the banks of the river Yamuna at Karnal and Kunjpura which eventually turned into a two-month-long siege led by Abdali against the Marathas.

High Resolution Flag of the Mughal Empire in SVG

Image via Wikipedia - Flag of Mughal Empire

The specific site of the battle itself is disputed by historians but most consider it to have occurred somewhere near modern-day Kaalaa Aamb and Sanauli Road. The battle lasted for several days and involved over 125,000 men. Protracted skirmishes occurred, with losses and gains on both sides. The forces led by Ahmad Shah Durrani came out victorious after destroying several Maratha flanks. The extent of the losses on both sides is heavily disputed by historians, but it is believed that between 60,000–70,000 were killed in fighting, while numbers of the injured and prisoners taken vary considerably. The result of the battle was the halting of the Maratha advances in the North.

The Indian subcontinent in 1760.

Image via Wikipedia - India in 1760

The Mughal Empire had been in decline since the death of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, in 1707. The decline was accelerated by the invasion of India by Nadir Shah in 1739. Continued rebellions by the Marathas in the south, and the de-facto separation of a number of states (including Hyderabad and Bengal), weakened the state further. Within a few years of Aurangzeb’s death, the Marathas had reversed all his territorial gains in the Deccan, and had conquered almost all Mughal territory in central and north India. Mughals had thus become just the titular heads of Delhi. In 1761, they wanted to expand further north and north-west, where their path crossed Ahmad Shah Abdali — the ruler of Afghanistan, who had been making raids into Punjab and had appointed his son as its governor.

 

An approximate political map of the Indian sub...

Image via Wikipedia - Map of Maratha Empire

The Marathas had gained control of a considerable part of India in the intervening period (1707–1757). In 1758, they occupied Delhi, captured Lahore and drove out Timur Shah Durrani,the son and viceroy of the Afghan ruler, Ahmad Shah Abdali. This was the high-water mark of the Maratha expansion, where the boundaries of their empire extended in the north to the Indus and the Himalayas, and in the south nearly to the extremity of the peninsula. This territory was ruled through the Peshwa, who talked of placing his son Vishwasrao on the Mughal throne. However Delhi still remained under the nominal control of Mughals, key Muslim intellectuals including Shah Waliullah and other Muslim clergy in India and Punjab who were alarmed at these developments. In desperation they appealed to Ahmad Shah Abdali, the ruler of Afghanistan, to halt the threat.

 

Ahmad Shah Durrani, founded Afghanistan in 1747.

Image via Wikipedia - Ahmad Shah Abdali

Thus after due invitation Ahmad Shah Abdali attacked India and on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti Sadashivrao Bhau lost the battle of Panipat. The infamous defeat still rattles the Marathas. There is a saying in Marathi Tyanche Panipat Jhale [ He succumbed to his Panipat ] Metaphorically Panipat has become for Marathas, what Waterloo was for Napoleon. It shattered Maratha pride, it halted their advances towards North India and finally it dented their image. But one thing was intact and it remains intact even today and that is their valour and their pride. Even after defeat The Third Battle of Panipat remains a glorious chapter of our history, because it was not because of lack of courage or valour but it happened because of a tactical and strategic error.

VIDUR

MUMBAI -MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

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[ While researching for this blog, I visited various sites on the internet and I have taken few things and few paragraphs from various sources. I express my deep gratitute. ]

Not A Drop of Tear for Baleshwar Yadav ?


I am so pained and sad to hear that eminent Bhojpuri folk singer Baleshwar Yadav died on January 9th, 2011. This 68 years old legendary BIRAHA singer was being treated in Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Hospital in Lucknow at the time of his death. He was cremated on January 10th, 2011 in Lucknow.

He was born in the Badanpur village of Mau District of Uttar Pradesh on January 1st, 1942. The folk song , he specializes in , is known as BIRAHA. “हमार बलिया बीचे सजना भुलाईल सजनी”  and  “निक लागे टिकुलिया गोरखपुर के”  are some of his famous BIRAHA songs. Among his admirers and fans he was known as Balesar baba. After being famous in his birth-place, he was invited to come to Lucknow [ Capital of Uttar Pradesh ] by the local leader and Member of Parliament Late Jharkhande Rai in 1962. He never looked back after that.


Apart from recording several cassettes and CDs, he started doing stage shows from 2008. His shows were very popular not only in India but also in countries like Mauritius, Germany, Holland, Thailand and various other European countries. He gave a new respectability to Bhojpuri folk music. His last stage show was in Surinam.

He was awarded Yash Bharati Puraskar by Uttar Pradesh Government in 1995 for his contribution to popularise Bhojpuri folk music, specially BIRAHA.

 

Indian state of Uttar Pradesh

Image via Wikipedia

He is survived by his wife Chhanguri Devi and three sons – Rajesh, Avadhesh and Mithilesh.

I am so peeved that the news of his death was completely ignored by electronic and print media. Indian News Channels have time to mourn death of Salmaan Taseer, a rabid India hater and Hindu batter and Governor of Pakistani Punjab. They are inviting his children for sound bytes. They are shedding copious tears for so-called liberal ( ? ) and Shaheed ( ? ) Salmaan Taseer , but they don’t have time to inform the viewers about the death of this son of the soil called Baleshwar Yadav. I am giving few of the tweets of Salmaan Taseer, so that readers can gauge the mentality and true feelings of liberal ( ? ) and Shaheed ( ? ) Salmaan Taseer:

Salmaan Taseer
SalmaanTaseer Salmaan Taseer
We pray 4 the heroic brave ppl of Kashmir. Inshallah 2011 bring them azadi from the brutal occupation they have faced 4 so many long years
Salmaan Taseer
SalmaanTaseer Salmaan Taseer
Pak has always resisted US pressure on Iran why is India so subservient? Transfer of nuclear technolagy?
Salmaan Taseer
SalmaanTaseer Salmaan Taseer
Why does India make fools of themselves messing in space technology (GSLV)? Stick 2 bollywood my advice
 

Salmaan Taseer
SalmaanTaseer Salmaan Taseer
Me India bashing? Im shocked! It’s because I like India that I advise them 2 stop butchering Kashmiris & messing up things in space
I hope that now you can understand the psyche of this so-called liberal Salmaan Taseer. I will write about him some other time. Here I quoted from his twitter handle to show what kind of person he was and our anchors have time for him and not for Baleshwar Yadav. Only Jai Bhojpuri.com informed us about his death.
Any way, leaving Indian Media aside, I have to state that I am a huge fan of Baleshwar Yadan and his music. ” Kawane Karanawa Nhauji Gharawa Me Bolawalu ” and ” Patana Saharia Me Ghume Dui Nataniya “ are his evergreen hits and are my personal favourites. I am sad and I deeply mourn the death of Baleshwar Yadav, who went unwept and unsung, though he sang all his life.
VIDUR
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

An Evening With Shweta Pandit


 

January 09, 2011. What a Sunday ! After a long time , almost after five years, on this very cold , windy and dreary Sunday of Mumbai, I got an opportunity to meet famous playback singer Shweta Pandit. Her brother Yash Pandit is my student and because of him I know her personally. I am a huge admirer of her grand-uncle Pandit Jasraj ji, who is the real brother of her grandfather Pandit Pratap Ji.

Indian singer Pandit Jasraj at the launch of h...

Image via Wikipedia - Pandit Jasraj Ji

I used to like her Bua Sulakshan Pandit, who was a famous singer-actor of her time. I am a huge fan of her famous uncles and notable music director duo Jatin-Lalit also. Who is not a fan of hit musical scores of blockbuster films like ” Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge ” , ” Kuchh Kuchh Hota Hai ” and ” Mohabbatein ” . All these films have Jatin-Lalit compositions. Recent hit ” Munni Badnam Hui ” of ” Dabangg ” is also a creation of Lalit Pandit. Shweta Pandit’s  father Mandhir Pandit gave music for some of Dev Anand films under the name of Mandhir-Jatin.

Mohabbatein

Image via Wikipedia

” Mohabbatein ” [ 2000 ] reminds me of Shweta Pandit because it was her debut film. She sang two songs – ” Sab Darwaze Kar Lo Band, Dekho Aaye Aaye Chor  ” and  ” Chalte Chalte Yun Hi ” at the age of 12. It was a Yash Raj film. It was Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan starrer. She gave voice to Shamita Shetty in this film. As a trainer ” Mohabbatein ” was a big and important film for me too. I was called by Aditya Chopra to train 6 artistes, who were making their debut with this film. They were – Uday Chopra, Jugal Hansraj, Jimmy Sheirgill, Shamita Shetty, Priti Jhangiani and Kim Sharma. That time I didn’t know that Shweta Pandit is also making her debut with this film. ” Mohabbatein “ changed my life completely. From being an unknown and insignificant player in the field of acting training, I became a known figure in this field. And from being a 12 years old debutant singer, Shweta Pandit became an international sensation, who hops around the world along with A. R. Rehman for his concerts.

 

Yash Raj Films International

Image via Wikipedia - Logo of Yash Raj Films

Shweta called me on Saturday night to inform me that she would be coming to my institute on Sunday. It was nice seeing her after 5 years. She is same courteous, vibrant and energetic girl, who met me years ago with his brother Yash Pandit and who had now matured as a singer and as an international performer.

It was nice meeting you Shweta. We both started our major film journey from ” Mohabbatein “. It is an eleven year old relationship. We share a kind of professional umbilical cord. I pray to God that this umbilical cord should not and would never be snapped.

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

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