An Ode to Immortality…

22 Mar

It is rightly said that music is not bound by language, region or anything potentially prejudicial. As I listen to Raag Puriya Dhanashree rendered by the insurmountable legend of Hindustani classical music, Late Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, what amazes me is the impeccable alignment of thoughts in the rendition. Every note so serene, every word so divine, that Panditji’s music challenges one’s vocabulary.

The mere thought of something being immortal is intriguing. I cannot think of a moment when I have not had an emotional attachment with things I possessed – my books, my music collection, etc. Knowingly or unknowingly, we invest both emotionally and mentally in our possessions and it is obviously difficult to relinquish them. My father could not bear the fact that he had to sell his first ever scooter which he had bought by his own money just because it was old. At that time, I could not appreciate his feeling. I was more than glad for the upgrade. A few years later, when I was in his shoes selling my first bike, I could not stop myself from sharing the same sentiment.

I feel that these attachments give birth to desires and expectations. The expectations lead to yearning. May be it is this yearning which has led man to discover earthly secrets and also to make astonishing inventions. While most of the religions preach abstaining from worldly desires, it is also true that it is because of these desires that discoveries and inventions happen. I feel that our sensibilities are skewed when we speak of such intricate designs we are surrounded with. This dilemma does not seem to resolve at least for me!

The fact remains that our expectations do not always align with our destiny. This leads to disappointments in some cases, while in others, an instigation to strive even harder to achieve the desired.  Our desire to make things faster, smaller and more convenient can be considered to be the one end of the spectrum of immortality.

The question that pops up is where does the attachment which someone like Panditji has with his art lie on this spectrum? Is there any amount of insecurity about an artist’s prowess which tags along with fame and fortune? I don’t think these questions have any definite answers. May be someone like Panditji never had these questions; or may be his state of mind was as Kabir exclaims his state of intoxication – void of any differences and segments.

As I get back from my ramblings to the soulful rendition, I cannot help but think of how sad I was to hear about Panditji’s demise. But, I now feel that his notes and his music are so profound that they are even beyond this vicious circle of birth and death… they are simply immortal…

“IMMORTAL is an ample word
When what we need is by, 
But when it leaves us for a time,
‘T is a necessity.”

— Emily Dickinson


2 Responses to “An Ode to Immortality…”

  1. Sharma March 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    Probably your comparision of a material possession to that of an art is not correct.

    The attachment with art does not come from possessing it for an extended period of time but it multiplies itself with any new exploration which might in turn leads the artist towards his identity.

    • Himanshu March 23, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

      Hi Sharma,

      Thanks a zillion for stopping by. I guess i did not use subtlity well. I was trying to refer to the fame which one gets by excelling an art form. Also, although I agree that the material posessions and artistic prowess may not really sound comparable or measurable on the same scale, what I was trying to explore in the article was the concept of immortality in accordance with dedication and devotion to an art form.

      All said and done, you totally have a valid observation. I guess I should have been more explicit in stating this comparison.

      Thanks a tonne once again pal. You totally rock!

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