Monday, January 24, 2011


R.I.P. Bhimsen Joshi (1922-2011)

When you sang the Malhar
we could hear the trees growing,
hear the wood’s ancient
longing for rain,

your voice a season
exquisite with languor,
wild thunders tamed
to the purposes of song.

The night you sang Vande Mataram
we wanted to sing along,
your voice on the loudspeakers
flattened, distorted,

yet deep enough to contain
all our contradictions:
fifty years of freedom
and a tradition

older than grief.
That’s why I have to believe
you will outlast this pyre,
your throat an ember

burning pure and blue,
a constant outpouring,
at the center of the fire, a flame
endlessly wavering, endlessly true.


km said...

hear the wood’s ancient
longing for rain

Damn, that's a very good line.

manukulkarni said...

He has inspired many towards life, towards vitality and hope. Towards Bhakti, with his energy and passion and love for the Great One....

His voice is immortal, as is his memory..

Kits said...

Awesome this one is- lovely lines that speak from the heart

dipali said...

This was beautiful!