Monday, August 21, 2006

Death of a Maestro

"The world comes to die here. It would be a pity if I died somewhere else.." And so, today the sun will set on a Benares void of one of its greatest sons.

I am not a great proponent of Indian classical music, nor do i claim to understand it's nuances. Ustaad Bismillah Khan, however, has always been synonomous with the 'shehnai' ever since I remember.

As a tribute to the maestro, NDTV replayed an episode of the series "Walk the Talk" featuring him. What brought tears to my eyes, was not the news of the death, but the humble simplicity of the man. Clad in a 'ganji' and 'dhoti' seated on a charpai, a 90-year old man in the span of half an hour showed me 'how to live'.

The man who swayed millions to the enchanting sound of the shehnai, who elevated the 'shehnai' from an accompanying instrument to a solo instrument in its own right, felt that all was not lost for this country.

His frank and honest words he showed how greatness and simplicity can coexist, how attitude is not necessary to prove superiority; it showed me how I wanted to lead my life!!!

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