Thursday, December 29, 2011

aPaulogy - a Gallery of the Works of Paul Fernandes

I visited it last Saturday and it was a great start to a week's holiday. 

Paul's works on display are a curious and delightful mixture of cartooning and watercolour painting. Each work has elements of both in greater or smaller measure. Added colour is the word play and a fund of badly or wrongly written signboards collected with a keen eye.

One of the best things about this gallery is the way it has been arranged. Superb - is the word. It can not be described - it has to be seen, experienced. DO not miss the miniature Pianos made by Paul - both uprights and a grand.

My recommendation: Go see it, enjoy it and have a grand time! 

It is open from 11 am to 7.30 pm on weekdays and Saturdays. 


15 Clarke Road (Opposite Au Bon Pain) Richards Park Entrance, Richards Town, Bangalore - 560 005.

Here are some pictures I took.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Power

On a recent short holiday, a whole evening was spoiled by Ayyappa. I mean, Ayyappa's devotees. At the very edge of the reserve forest they have built a small temple. (In that setting, at dusk and dawn, with all the oil lamps lit, it is a beautiful sight I must admit, almost reluctantly.) and from 6 to 9   in the evening, the loudspeakers were blaring out the typical, sadistically monotonous Ayyappa songs. One particular song which has "kallum mullum" in it in the first few lines is really kallum mullum to my ears. In spite of it, long after even the devotees had had enough and left, the song was going through my mind in an endless loop- it just wouldn't leave me. A perfect earworm.

(Ayyappa, is also called Shasta or Dharmashasta - claiming that he preserved/interpreted (or something, I really do not know) the dharma shastras for this world. I am sure the shastras did not have anything that said, "thou shalt not cause harm and alarm to wild beings, who are also the creation of the supreme being, peace be upon him, especially in or close to their natural habitat" - ah that is a unification of three major world religions in one sentence.) 

When I related this incident to an Ayyappa devotee, he half earnestly said that it was an earworm because it was the power of god in general and Ayyappa in particular.

Then came Kolaveri di.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Pandit Vijaya Raghav Rao - A Multi Faceted Genius

Pt. Vijaya Raghav Rao, a flutist I admired a lot, passed away recently. I came to know about it yesterday and here is a small tribute to him.

He is prominent among the long list if South Indians who made a name in and contributed to the field of Hindustani music. 

If I remember right, I heard him first on a AIR Radio Sangeet Sammelan. Later, I realised that music for most of the Films Division documentaries at that time was composed by him. On the rare occasions I saw a movie, I would look out for the credits to these documentaries and I would have guessed if the music was indeed his or someone else. Even in a field like that, his refined sense and distinctive style were recognisable - not an easy task.

While I was researching on the net for this post, I found that he was the music coordinator for the film Gandhi by Attenborough, he composed music for Mrinal Sen's "Ek Adhoori Kahani" and "Bhuvan Shome", among others, and that there is a movie on him, (made by his son?), called My Father: An Artist.

Sometime ago, I sketched a portrait of this sensitive musician and I post it here in tribute to him.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Beware of these "Slippers"

Look at the sole of this bathroom / household / Hawai slippers.

Its "designer" must have contributed to the financial well-being of orthopaedics and pharmacists at great risk to life and limb of people.

You wear a pair of these and step on water on smooth floor (not the rough road is what I mean) and hey presto!, you are horizontal on the floor. The sole has pyramid shaped depressions. When your weight falls on the slipper, the air trapped in the depressions must somehow escape. When it does you become a "hovercraft" and the foot does not get any grip.

So, before you buy a pair of slippers (What a perfect name in this case!), watch out for the sole. Avoid those with this feature like the plague! If you have a pair at home like this, cut them and throw them away. If I am not mistaken, even Bata sells a model like this, in India.

There may be other such designs. If you look at the soles, you will be able to see if air could be trapped somewhere. 

So beware!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Neither Legal Nor Logical

A friend sent me the following joke, in German, from Germany, by e-mail.

A student failed in Logic and Organisation examination.

Student: You have failed me in the examination. But do you really understand anything yourself?
Professor: Of course I do! If not, I would not be a professor.
Student: OK, then. I will ask you something. If you give me the right answer, I will just go away. If you cannot, you have to give me 60% marks.
Professor: Agreed.
Student: What is legal but not logical, logical but not legal and neither logical nor legal.

The professor thought a long time and gave the student 60% marks and went away.

He then called his best student and asked him the same question.

The stduent answered right away: You are 63 but married to a 35 year old lady. It is legal but not logical. She has a 25 year old paramour. That is logical but not legal. That you gave 60% marks to your wife's lover when he had failed is neither legal nor logical!

Now, it continues, I ask you the same question. 

No idea? Here is a good answer then:

It is legal that we sit here and work, but not logical. It is logical that we mail each other such jokes but not legal. It is neither legal nor logical that we get paid for it!

I hope my bosses do not read my blog!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pulling My Own Leg

We have an in-house magazine. It is called The Big PICture. The last issue was a humour special. I contributed the article reproduced below. I have made some additions to it.


A sense of humour is not just about enjoying a joke, especially when the target is someone other than you. Here are some I have pulled on myself or really good ones pulled on me by others.

I had some ear problems. I went to the ENT specialist. He was a serious, gentle and thoughtful man. He put me on the examination chair, peered into my ear with an Otoscope. I felt that he was peering right into the innards of my head. After some serious and concentrated peering, he took the instrument out and said thoughtfully, as if talking to himself, “There is nothing organic”. I asked him with a disappointed look, “Not even a cabbage?”. I had to wait quite some time before he could recover from his laughter and give me a prescription.

I joined Philips 9 years ago and after a couple of months a friend came to visit me at work. We chatted for a while and he asked me what my department was called. Intellectual Property and Standards, I told him with some not inconsiderable pride. His question, with a dead pan expression, was, “What work do you have there, then?”

This friend and I worked together earlier. In that place, drinks were served at your desk twice a day. Before or after that, you could not get anything to drink for love or for money. You gave a coupon, worth 15 Paise, (Ya, I do mean 15 Paise) to the tea boy and he gave you a steel tumbler full of the drink of your choice – well coffee or tea. We two hosted the morning drink for all hands on a particular day of the year and called it our birthday – spiritual birthday. The first of April.

I have very low tolerance for alcohol. One glass of beer and I feel light headed. (It is economical, isn’t it? Alas, I can’t brag like some macho guys – “Eight pegs of whiskey! Nothing happens.” Why drink then? Might as well drink water, right?) The alcohol goes straight to my head, so to say. The reason? Well, could it be that “nature abhors a vacuum”?

I was in IIT Kharagpur doing my M Tech. I was known to be an analog and power electronics hardware geek, averse to software. A friend came to my room and found the book Artificial Intelligence in my room. “How come?”, he asked me expressing surprise. “I have no natural intelligence of my own. I was wondering if this helps!” was my reply.

Just the other day, I took my wallet out of my pocket and a comb fell out. My impudent son exclaimed, “Oh! You carry a comb!”

Recently I lost my old mobile. My sons insisted on my buying a smart phone. I have a gnawing suspicion that they wanted something smart about their dad!

The best thing about pulling your own leg periodically is that it hurts less when others do! On a more serious note, it saves your head from being filled with hot air and hence prevents people from laughing at you and makes them laugh with you.


The article ended with this self (pen) portrait:

About the Author: Anil is an electronics engineer engaged in the serious business of protecting Intellectual Property of the company. His hobbies include writing blogs (quite a different cup of tea from writing patent specifications), visual arts (sketching, watercolour painting), music (Veena), poetry (Kannada) and so on, all of which he takes seriously! 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Advertisement in Bad Taste?

THis is my opinion. Do you think so too?

You perhaps see the absurdity of it and think that it happens in "some strange, uncultured country? What kind of logic is this? One way to settle scores with a man is to hurt an unsuspecting, uninvolved innocent woman?" Or something like that?

Made by Rising Sun Films - for JWT Ad agency (Director : Shoojit Sirca, Producer : Ronnie Lahiri, DOP : Kamal Negi, Agency : JWT Delhi)

I can't beleive that a serious film maker's movie is banned in some states of this country just based on the apprehension that it hurts the sentiments of a section of society but no women's organisation raises its voice against this ad which is in such poor taste!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

An Unusual Exhibtion

Last week, I attended an unusual exhibition of paintings and sketches. I had received the invitation for the event in Bangalore from the US! Long route, eh?

My friend Amrit had sent the invitation. The works were of his aunt. The exhibition was in celebration of her 80th birthday.

I did not know what to expect when I went there and was immediately captivated and impressed by the works on display. I was glad that I had received the invitation and I had decided to ride a bike half way across the city.

The best thing I can do is let you have a look at the pictures I took. Unfortunately I just missed meeting the birthday lady herself as she had just then left for home.

I must congratulate and thank the artist's daughters for organising this unusual birthday!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Spirit of Inquiry

This is the map of the roads around my home.

In spite of the road blocks in place, people drive or ride their vehicles up to the point marked X. Then they think that they can take the road to the right to reach another road. The workers and other people on the road tell these riders/drivers that this is a "dead end road", to no avail. People go to the end of the road, see that there is no way out and then turn around with great difficulty and then go back. This has been happening for days now.

It amazes me that people want to find out the truth for themselves.

I also wish that they display the same spirit of inquiry to other matters. Apparently many do not.

Recently in a newspaper published readers' questions and the answers given by dual Sri Ravi Shankar. 

The Question: Why do we get angry.

2XSri RS: Because we are perfectionists and we get angry when we do not get perfection in actions. Actions can never be 100% perfect. They can only be 95% perfect. 100% perfection can be achieved in only thought and speech.

I have tried to reproduce the above Q&A as accurately as possible. I tried to get the original but failed. 

My wish is that the readers ask some simple questions of themselves.

  • What is the measure of this perfection?
  • Why is only 95% perfection is possible. Is 2XSri grabbing the number out of thin air as another guru used to grab branded watches out of the same source? Or is there a basis for that number?
  • What IS perfection in speech? And thought?
  • How does one measure it? 
  • Have we ever encountered an instance of perfect speech or perfect thought?
  • Is that the only or even the true cause of our anger?
  • Does the above theory help one overcome anger?

I wish the readers of his Q&A exhibit the same spirit of inquiry that many exhibit with the blocked road and the dead end road!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Prabal Mallick's Solo Exhibition

I just returned from an exhibition of watercolours by Prabal Mallick at CKP - (Chitrakala Parishat) 

I love good watercolours and Prabal's are lovely. Each of his works is  all that a good watercolour should be.

Here are some pictures from the exhibition with Prabal.

Here are more works by Prabal for you to see:

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Self_Confessed Atheist

A friend and I arrived after a 5 km long drive. We were of course talking on the way and he ended up with "You atheists put a lot of pressure on us theists". What? I told him, "On the way just now, we saw at least 10 hoardings which tried to sell you god, various brands of religions and spirituality and so on. Did you find one board trying to sell atheism? Who is putting pressure on whom?".

"But there is invisible pressure." He said. I had to retort, "You theists are used to believing in invisible, non-existent things anyway. So your accusation does not mean anything."

Even though this may sound acrimonious, it was not. All in good humour. So it was fun.

Today Ravi sent me this link:

Very funny, very interesting.

The sentence that caught my attention was the one that starts with "A self-confessed atheist, Mr Alm says....". Self-confessed? Being an atheist is no crime to confess to, surely. Self-proclaimed, self-declared will do nicely, thank you! 

You think that I am being over sensitive about this? Not at all. It is a point of diction. As Richard Dawkins says, the feminists raised our consciousness by objecting to sex bias by objecting to words like chairman, workman (and even HIStory) and so on. This is also like that. I would want to rewrite that sentence referred to earlier as: Mr Alm, an atheist, says ....

To prove a point to myself I asked a colleague if she was a self-confessed Roman Catholic. She looked at me with incredulity. QED

Now, who puts pressure on who, please?

What do you say?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bob A Pease

It is rare that the death of a person you have never seen leaves you feeling that it is a personal loss. The death of Bob Pease left me such a  feeling of loss.

I am sure Bob would have laughed at the news of his death. 

I came to know of Bob Pease from his column called Pease Porridge. Articles in this column were invariably titled "What is all this --- Stuff Anyhow?" What took the place of --- had great variety. Femtoamperes, Double-clutching, Neatness and so on, to name a few.
This man is a legend and held in great awe by those who know or admire or interested in the field of analog electronics. He was a designer par excellence. Larger than life. With a great intuition, imagination and deep knowledge and above all, great love for the analog world.

Tragically, he died in a car crash involving his eloved VW Beatle. He is the author of a book on how to avoid a car crash. And he was returning from the memorial service of another legend in the field of Analog electronics - Jim Willam.

Among other interests, Bob trekked in the Himalayas. The only sort of contact I had with him was when a friend and I wrote to him to find out how much it would cost to join him on one of his trips. (There was an invitation to those interested in joining him to write to him). I could, if I had the money and I did not. 

He was gracious, witty and meticulous in his reply. Every point I had made was followed with a *** in the next line and his answer. 

Whether you are interested in Analog or not, whether you are an engineer or not, google him and read a little about him and a few of his articles. You will be ther richer for it. 

Thursday, June 09, 2011

M F Husain

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury M F Husain, not to praise him.

There ends my attempt at oratory and more or less my familiarity with Julius Caesar.

That is beside the point. I have been planning to write about Maqbool Fida Husain, his art and the controversies surrounding him and so on, for quite some time and his death has goaded me into action, at last.

Let me narrate my encounters with him.

The University of Mysore conferred upon him an honorary doctorate in 1978. As is the tradition each of the recipients of the honorary doctorates were expected to speak. When it was his turn to speak, Husain went to the curious object that stood on the dais that was completely covered by a large cloth. He cut an impressive figure in his flowing convocation robes. He removed the cloth to reveal an easel with a prepared canvas on it, a palette and some tubes of paint and brushes. Without uttering a word, he squeezed generous blobs of colour on to the palette, painted a peacock with brisk sure strokes, bowed to the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor and the audience. I thought that he was saying that he was proud as a peacock. He was not done yet. He went back to the canvas and with deft strokes painted the crown on the peacocks head. He went back to his seat to deafening applause.

What a showman!

I wonder what the University did with that painting. Perhaps it was discarded somewhere or did Husain take it with him? I do not have much hope for it if it remained in the hands of the University officials. This is the university which destroyed a magnificent mural by K K Hebbar  on the walls of its library when the library building was expanded.

The next time I saw him was in Bombay. I was waiting for a bus in front of TIFR and a white Mercedes came to a halt at its gates. The driver was invisible because of the darkened glasses and the driver’s side door opened. A long lean unshod foot appeared from behind the door and then the unmistakable figure of Husain emerged.

Years later I saw him in Deccan Gymkhana, Pune. He came to a restaurant and sat waiting for some others to join him. He carried a long handled brush, as a walking stick, perhaps. I and my friend Praveen Sutrave dug into our pockets for something suitable to get his autograph on. We only found our business cards. We went to him and he graciously gave us his autograph. I still have it with me somewhere.

I saw him last when he walked in to a music concert at the Mysore Palace during Dasara. He was dressed stylishly in dark green trousers, brown shirt and a matching green waistcoat. Before you know what had happened the heads turned and the whole audience that was very attentive till then was staring at him! He did a Namaste to the musicians and quietly walked away.

Years earlier to all this, in the sixties, I had seen a portrait he had made of Dr. A. Rahman, a scientist in CFTRI and a good friend of my father. Years later I asked Rehman_mama (as I called him) what had become of that portrait. Husain had walked into his house one day and said that it was not a good portrait and took it back with him promising a better one soon, which never materialised.

This is my tribute to a man whose colourful character I followed with fascination over the years. In spite of all the vitriolic things hurled at him and his art, I have admired his art for whatever it was worth. A true evaluation of his art is right now possible for me because the scene is confused by the obscene amounts of money his works get sold at and the media hype about him.

I rest my case, which is no case at all!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

God, Hawkings and so on

Here is something I read in The Hindu today and found very interesting. You may too.

The Guardian Interviewer, Ian Sample, has also written more about it here on his blog.

Often, during discussions on god or religion, people say something like, "Even Einstein believed in god and said that science without religion is lame". I am unlikely to hear them say now, "Even Stephen* Hawkings says that there is no god".

* Not to be confused with even-stevens assuming that you pronounce Stephen as Steven and not Stefen - both of which are correct.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Human Rights

A couple of friends and I were having a coffee break at work . Both of them were incensed that the trial of Kasab had become a farce. Why should there be so much of a fuss about a trial and so on. As I have seen it happen many times before, the talk turned towards human rights activists (HRA). Both my friends are gentlemen and hence no foul language was used. In other situations with other persons involved, I have heard the HRA being called unmentionable things.

I too wonder sometimes as to why it should take so long to bring a person who is so obviously the perpetrator to justice.

These gentlemen went on and on, I had to do something. I asked one of the friends who has a son. The son is very intelligent boy and very talented in many fields. He is at the top 1 or 2% of his class in studies, draws well for his age, good at chess and so on. So, I asked him – let us call him L.

“L, just imagine this situation. Your son is coming back from college. The police come and arrest him on some trumped up charge. They plant a weapon in his bag and claim that that was the murder weapon. They fabricate other evidences also and take him to court and want him hanged. How will you feel?“ He paled even thinking about the imaginary situation.

I told him, “This is what the HRAs are for. They have to defend the innocent and the defenseless”. The only way they can do that is that human rights requirements are met, procedures are adhered to and the process of law is followed. They have to do that to everyone – no exceptions. The principle of law is that a man is innocent until proved guilty and he should be treated (not believed, if you like) as innocent.”
I think my argument touched them.  At least I hope so.

If anyone who reads this feels frustrated about something done by HRAs, just imagine the fate of my friend’s son for someone near and dear to you.

Here is one site that might interest you: If an elaborate justice system can do this, imagine what happens if it is offhand and principles are thrown to the winds?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Javed Akhtar on Spirituality

A good friend e-mailed me the text of Javed Akhtar's talk on Spirituality at the India Today Conclave of 2008.

You can read the text of the talk here. Brilliant.

While looking for more information on the subject, I came across the apparent response of Ravishankar of the Art of Living Foundation.

The response sounded insipid and defensive and often self-contradictory to me.

I sent the text to some friends who practice their respective religions. They all came back and said that the talk was very good. That has left me almost confused, but happy.

At one point in his response, Ravishankar challenges - does anyone criticize (Mother) Theresa or Dalai Lama. ( Well, I do.) This is a very well worn ploy of "(poor) us against (the evil) them" used by many to garner support. Christopher Hitchens even wrote a book about Theresa - provocatively titled "The Missionary Position". You can get a taste of his views here.

I hope you enjoy the read.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Jeffry Archer in Bengaluru

Jeffry Archer in Bengaluru

I got off the office bus and walked to Reliance Timeout to see and hear Jeffry Archer. I had wondered if it was worth the trouble after a particularly tiring day at the office and my feet hurt in the hard soled leather shoe - a far cry from the sports shoes that I normally wear.

It was. It was great fun to listen to him speak and act. Yes, act. He regaled the audience with stories of some TV interviews that he did in the US - acting various parts of it. Very funny.

He said things that impressed me very much. It was about talent and hard work. He gets up at 5:30 every morning and writes for two hours. Then takes a break and writes again from 9:30 for two hours. This write-and-break routine goes on the whole day. He said talent is one thing but you have to work to make something out of it!

I hope young and old, who aspire to do something and get better at it, are listening.

Some snippets:

He often writes about Polish people because he likes and admires the Polish "race". (The last

word sounded odd to me) The reason he gave was that Poland was the first country to bear the brunt of Hitler's Germany and many Poles came to England and became air force pilots to fight Hitler. hmmmm

His favourite artist is Caravaggio and favourite sculptor, Bernini. Interesting.

"Indian women are so pushy!" he says to the men in the audience, "You are finished! You are done for. Beware! Run!"

Like a true showman he answered the question, "What inspires you to write" you! (Applause) What drives him to put in all that hard work is that he reads Steinbeck, Graham Greene, R K Narayan and knows that he has to get to be like them and that he is not. The aspiration to "get there" drives him.

He finally said that he will be "here" until the last person had his autograph even if it meant that he will go directly to the airport tomorrow to catch the flight at 9. (Applause) And he insulted Indians. And we deserve it. He promised to autograph the book of every last man (woman) provided, "You do something that you are not accustomed to do at all! Stand in an orderly queue, you guilty lot" he roared!

(These white men do not get it. The Japanese use fuzzy logic to do anything and everything - wash clothes, take better pictures, sweep the floor, flush the toilet and what have you. We Indians form a fuzzy queue, and spit all over the place while we are at it, as long as we are not busy honking the horn at all impediments in our paths including road humps.)

Here are some pictures of the event and a video too - for those who wanted to or would have liked to be there but could not or were not.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Workshop on Watercolour

It is conducted by George Supreeth. To know more about him just google with "george supreeth" (with the inverted commas) and you can see a wide variety of his works.

I have to juggle stuff, but attend it I will. If you are even a wee bit interested in doing watercolours, you should attend it too!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Day at the Museum


I was in the Government Museum on Kasturaba Road, Bangalore. A few other members of the sketch club called Pencil Jammers of which I am a member, were with me. We stood there sketching some of the 10th and 11the century sculptures on display there.

The guards, one a Bengali and the other an Assamese, were very curious about what we were doing. They kept watching what we did and gave their opinion on how we are doing. But, they are highly appreciative. They are so impressed that they found some folding chairs and offered them to the the couple of girls in the group. That was awfully nice of them.

Then comes an officer of the museum and challenged us about what we were doing, almost offensively. "Shouldn't you come and ask for permission before sketching?" I am asked. I explain about Pencil Jammers patiently. I say that the two of the girls are students in a premier, internationally esteemed educational institution in Bangalore and also where I work. I also say that our interests are purely artistic. We are finally allowed to continue.

There is a "No Photography" rules in many musea. I never understood why. Flashes can ruin the pigments in paintings. So, a "No Flash" rule is understandable. Why no photography?

Flashback 1985:

I was in the Birmingham Museum. I was ill prepared for the visit and I wanted to make some notes about some interesting exhibits - Degas' Ballerina - for instance. I went to the reception and asked hesitantly, if it was possible to get some paper. Pronto comes a clip board, five sheets of paper and pencil to boot. It was not a dream. I am told, "Just leave the pad and the pencil here on your way out please?". Thank you very much.


Flash forward:

Here are some of the sketches I made at the museum yesterday.

Tara, Bihar, Ca 10th Century
(Not sure if it is Brihaspatacharya's wife Tara or Vali's wife Tara or the female Bodhisattva or the form of Shakti)

Teerthankara, Ca 11th Century AD

Monday, January 24, 2011

Black Magic

A unique workshop is coming up. A workshop on Black Magic!

Ah! If you have visions of revenge and harming your boy/girl friend who ditched you or your boss who did not promote you, you are out of luck.

This is black because it uses charcoal. And magic because you can learn to create something


with it!

The workshop is conducted by Priya Sebastian.

A Giant is no More - A Personal Tribute to Bhimsen Joshi

What a singer he was! (It hurts to use the past tense)

The first time I heard him live was in Bombay. 1980, I think. Until then my exposure to his music was only through the radio.

The concert was in Birla Mathusri Sabhagar. As I remember it, it is huge - at least compared to the smaller auditoria I was accustomed to in Mysore. The auditorium and and the stage dwarfed the man. My first thought was, "How is he going to fill this place?"

He took his time settling down. Fussed about the Tambura. Passed it on to the tambura player when he was satisfied. Then he sat facing the audience. Eyes closed. Back erect. Meditative, it looked. He cleared his throat vigorously, raised his right arm pointing N-W and elevation of 45 degrees and held Shadja.

It was time for the hall to be dwarfed. Make no mistake, there was electronic amplification. That amplified the volume, not the capacity to fill the auditorium.

I have forgotten what Raag it was. Purya Kalyan, perhaps. I remember that the petite girl friend of my friend closed her ears in awe at the first note, shivered, with eyes wide open in amazement. How the next three hours or so passed is not known.

That is what I will always remember whenever I hear him sing.

Another time, I heard his famous Daasa Vaani casette and in particular Karuniso Ranga Karuniso. When it ended, I noticed my shirt front was wet with tears. (1986, IIT Kharagpur, VS Hall)

Among the many greats that the small area of North Karnataka around Dharwar has given to Hindustani Music, the most famous was, perhaps, Bhimsen Joshi. I have heard some learned musicians say that he never achieved the real musical greatness that he was capable of and so on. His repertoire of Raagas and "chees" was limited, they say. For me and many many others none of it mattered. When he sang, we were transported. At least here, we can use the present tense. When he sings, we are transported, thanks to the many recordings we are lucky enough to have at our disposal.

Recently, someone mailed me about him referring to him by the community he belonged to. That reminded me of this I wrote about Gangu Bai Hangal some time ago.