NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013

NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013
Shri Ramapir Mandir/Temple in Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A tribute to Legendary exponent of Hindustani classical music Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, India

By  Kunal Jaiprakash (PHP India)
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
(Photo : PHP pays tribute to musical maverick Pandit Bhimsen Joshi (1922-2011), who passed away on January 24, 2010)
India : Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, the maestro who ruled as a sun in the Indian musical constellation for several decades, has left us.  The waves of the rich and expansive universe of the Hindustani tradition, he leaves behind, will chime the air forever.

I would say a whole era of classical music ended with Bhimsenji, Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar said after his death.

Lataji’s comment visibly points out the broad vacuity created by Bhimsenji’s death in Hindustani music as he is the true descendant of Kirana stream of Hindustani classical music. He is famous for the "Khayal", a form of Hindustani classical.

Bhimsen was born into a Brahmin family of Gadag in Karnataka in 1922. His childhood was spent there. As a child, Bhimsen was deeply influenced by his mother, whose bhajans the young boy loved to hear.

A musical maverick

Even as a child he was crazy about music and he ran away from home to learn music. He had heard that Gwalior, Lucknow and Rampur in the North were the best places to learn classical music.

He wandered through several spaces in search for a master, met and learned music from various maestros but never satisfied. Passing Pune, Bombay and finally Bhimsen reached Gwalior.

From the Gwalior maestro Vinayak Rao Patwardhan, he got an advice; learn music from Sawai Gandharv, an outstanding disciple of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, in Kundagol, Karnataka.  Bhimsen had met his guru (master) in Sawai Gandharv.

There also instituted an exceptional and extraordinary relationship between Bhimsen and Sawai Gandharv.
Bhimsen Joshi’s deep passion for music was escorted by a marked non-conformism. Though he was a dazzling exponent of the traditional, limited repertoire of the Kirana gharana, his music was also fertilized by ideas from other gharanas.

His music has so many tones – meditative, melodious, insightful and even erratic. He took the traditional Kirana ragas to the highest level of complexity. His brilliant virtuosity was always coupled with romantic intensity. But Bhimsen Joshi was obsessively restless, constantly stretching the boundaries, daring to challenge his own music.

There were moments in his music when he knew he would fail, but yet surrendered to the test he set for himself. The fear of the unknown hardly deterred him from exploring higher realms. That’s probably why he is the only Kirana maestro to have even attempted a raga like Ramkali.

Among several recognitions he had received, the Bharat Ratna, country's highest civilian honor, in 2008, and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, one of the highest national recognitions given to practicing artistes, in 1976 are of immense substance.

Bhimsen Joshi’s most memorable performance that is learned by heart till date is obviously the national integration song "Mile Sur Mera Tumhara".

His golden voice calling to Indians to get together and stand as one nation is an ever popular and timeless number that is hummed by all of us even today.

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