Saturday, May 12, 2007

Music for the soul.

I stopped believing in the soul around the time I stopped believing in God of Big Things. My life theory then started hovering on random happenings and chance as the ultimate truth. I stopped visiting temples – something I had been doing all my life at 233 Khetwadi Main Road – not probably out of conviction but sheer habit. I remember visiting in my mother’s company twelve Shri Ram Temples on the Ram Navmi day at least three or four year running. I also used to accompany her on her Saturday visit to the Hanuman Temple on Picket Road near Crawford Market. These last few days, though, I suddenly found myself wondering about the probable existence of the human soul while listening to some really soul-stirring stuff. It has been a mishmash of Pandit Hariprasad Chourasia, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Ustad Allah Rakha and Zakir Hussain, I’m afraid, with a generous dash of Bach, Beethoven, Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Grieg, Tschaikowsky, and Vivaldi as well as Count Basie, Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller – and, last but not the least, the incomparable but utterly underrated Geeta Dutt. Her slow number, Ja Ja Ja Bewafaa, from Aar Paar, is nothing short of beatific, for instance. So are her other numbers (Waqt Ne Kiya from Kaagaz Ke Phool, Naa Jao Saiyan and Piya Aiso Jiya Mein both from Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam) to mention just two examples from her heavenly repertoire. All this makes me wonder why she lies forgotten in the vault of Time while far lesser talent are revered. My guess is, she never had a good spin doctor posthumously or even while she was alive for that matter. More’s the pity.

No comments: