Categories
Introspection Serenity

बस यूँही……..


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A picture posted by a friend on her FB wall set off a chain of thought.
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The human mind is very imaginative and can see situations where they may not exist…
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#Random_Thoughts
#Dreams
#Different_Perspective

Categories
Devotional melodies Marathi Bhavgeet Marathi Natyasangeet

एका दिवसाची सांगता….

माझे वडील भारतीय वायुदळात होते. जवळजवळ २० वर्षे सेवा करून ते नन्तर एअर इंडिया मध्ये रुजू झाले, १९६७-६९ मध्ये आम्ही पुण्यात राहात होतो. तेव्हा भरवस्तीत राहण्याची संधी मिळाली. नातूबागेत फाटक वाड्यात सुप्रसिद्ध लेखक वि ग कानिटकर यांची जागा आम्ही भाड्याने घेतली आणि आम्ही त्यामुळे काही काळ का होईना, पुणेकर झालो. दोन वर्षात सर्वात मोठा फायदा झाला ते खूप मोठे गायक/वादक प्रत्यक्षात ऐकायला मिळाले. त्यामुळे लहानपणीच चांगला कानसेन बनलो. आज संध्याकाळी, डोंगरावर थंडगार वाऱ्याच्या झुळकांमध्ये अंगावर काटा येत असतानासुद्धा, दिवसाची सांगता होत असताना, सूर्यास्त बघत असताना एकदम बुवांचा एक अभंग आठवला. १९६७-६९ मध्ये मी बुवांचे अभिजात गायन खूप ऐकले, तेव्हा सगळे बुवा आणि जसराज यांना समान लेखत असत.

गणेश बळवंत नवाथे या नावाने जन्माला आलेले हे महान कलाकार मराठी जनमानसाच्या मनांवर आपले नाव कायमचे कोरून गेले आहेत. आपण त्यांना नवाथे या नावाने न ओळखता पंडित जितेंद्र अभिषेकी असे ओळखतो. खरे तर हा राग सकाळचा/पहाटेचा आहे. पण मैफिलीत शेवटी सांगता म्हणून हा म्हणण्याची / वाजवण्याची प्रथा आहे. आताच आठवलेला अभन्ग हा संत गोरा कुंभार यांनी लिहिलेला आहे. अभिषेकी बुवांनी हा खूप तल्लीन होऊन गायला आहे. https://youtu.be/mB9uW1I28EM

किती सुंदर भाव आणि सरळ साधे शब्द आहेत ते पहा: मला या संत लोकांना प्रत्येक वेळी साष्टांग दंडवत घालावेसे वाटते. लौकिक अर्थाने अशिक्षित असे हे लोक किती मस्त, अमर भावामृत देऊन गेले आहेत आपल्याला. गहन अर्थपूर्ण आणि आध्यात्मिक पातळीवर सुद्धा परिपक्व लेखन. शेकडो वर्षे लोटली, कित्येक थोरामोठ्यांनी या सर्व साहित्याचा खोलवर अभ्यास वर्षानुवर्षे केला. असे करूनही त्याचा ठाव पूर्णपणे घेतला आहे असे छातीठोकपणे सांगणारा एकही इसम भेटणार नाही.  संत गोरा कुंभार हे एका अत्यंत धार्मिक घराण्यातील आठवे अपत्य. माधवबुवारखुमाई यांची पहिली सात मुले जन्मल्यानंतर लगेच निवर्तली. आठवे गोरोबा. ते नामदेव महाराज व संतश्रेष्ठ ज्ञानेश्वर महाराज यांचे समकालीन होते.  त्यांचा जन्म धाराशिव जिल्यातील तेर गावी झाला तो साधारण शालिवाहन शक ११८९ साली. त्यांनीही माऊलींप्रमाणेच समाधी घेतली, त्यांच्या समाधिस्थानी आजही तेर गावी संत गोरोबाकाका मंदिर उभे आहे. समाधीचा दिवस, तीथ नोंदली गेली आहे: चैत्र कृष्ण त्रयोदशी शके १२३९. या साध्या माणसाची विठ्ठल प्रेमाची अभिव्यक्ती मला थक्क आणि नतमस्तक करणारी आहे. मोठ्या शिकल्या सवरल्या कवींना जमणार नाही इतक्या सुरेख भावना मांडल्या आहेत:

कैवल्याच्या चांदण्याला भुकेला चकोर,
चंद्र व्हा हो पांडुरंगा, मन करा थोर…..
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बालवयी खेळी रमलो, तारुण्य नासले,
वृद्धपणी देवा आता दिसे पैलतीर…….
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जन्म मरण नको आता, नको येरझार,
नको ऐहिकचा नाथा व्यर्थ बडिवार……
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चराचरापार न्या हो, जाहला उशीर,
पांडुरंग पांडुरंग मन करा थोर………
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.                        संत गोरा कुंभार

हा अभंग संत गोरा कुंभार या नाटकात अशोकजी परांजपे यांनी बांधलेल्या या अप्रतिम भैरवी रागातील चालीत अभिषेकी बुवांनी अप्रतिम म्हटले आहे. “जन्म मरण नको आता, नको येरझार ….” ही भावुक, आर्त विनवणीची ओळ आली की अजूनही डोळ्यातून आपसूक अश्रू बाहेर पडलेच पाहिजेत. अभिषेकी बुवांचा तीन दिवसांपूर्वीच ९३ वा जन्मदिवस होता. लतादीदी आणि बुवा दोघेही २९ सालचे. आपल्या वडिलांनी दिलेला सांगितिक वारसा दोघांनी जपला आणि आपापल्या परीने जोपासला, वाढवला ही. अभिषेकी बुवांनी स्वतः चे पूर्ण जीवन मराठी संगीत नाटकाचे पुनरुज्जीवन करण्यासाठी अर्पण केले, वेळप्रसंगी त्यांनी त्यासाठी शास्त्रीय संगीताची  वाटही जास्त हाताळली नाही. पण त्यांच्यामुळेच मरगळलेल्या अवस्थेतल्या मराठी संगीत नाटकाला परत चांगले दिवस आले हे निश्चित. मराठी संगीत नाटक आणि भैरवी म्हटल्यावर मला बालगंधर्वांचे एक अतिशय प्रसिद्ध आणि गोड पद आठवले , हे वि. सी. गुर्जर यांनी एकच प्याला नाटकासाठी लिहिले आहे. https://youtu.be/IIOLRDWq8gs

त्याकाळी ध्वनिमुद्रण (आजच्या मानाने) तंत्रज्ञान फार विकसित झाले नव्हते. त्यामुळे बालगंधर्वांचा आवाज एव्हढा स्पष्ट येत नाही, हे आपले दुर्दैव! हेच पद पुढे कुमार गंधर्व यांनी आपल्या अद्वितीय शैलीत गायले आहे: ते जरूर ऐका: https://youtu.be/zS8PMaQ9qvc

कुमार गंधर्व यांच्या दैवी गायनाबद्दल मज पामराने काय बोलावे? एक दैवी शक्तीच त्यांच्या गायनातून प्रकटते आणि माझ्यासारख्या श्रोत्यांना निव्वळ पर्वणी बनून आसमंत मंतरून टाकते! स्वरांच्या ओघात आपण फक्त वाहत जायचे: अंगावर रोमांच उभे राहतात आणि अश्रुपात आपल्या नकळत होत राहातो: एक अद्वितीय भावानुभव. या स्वरांच्या डोहात मी डुंबत राहतो, बाहेर पडायची न फिकीर, न आसक्ती. फक्त शुद्ध, सात्विक ब्रह्मानंद ….

प्रभु अजि गमला, मनी तोषला ॥
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कोपे बहु माझा । तो प्रभुराजा ।
आता हासला । मनी तोषला ॥
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मृतचि हृदय होते नाथ, हे पूर्ण झाले ।
परि वचनसुधेने त्यासि जिवंत केले ॥
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अमृतमधुर शब्द त्या पुन्हा ऐकण्याते ।
श्रवणि सकल माझी शक्ति एकत्र होते ॥
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….. वि सी गुर्जर, एकच प्याला

या तिघा मोठ्या गायकांनी खरे तर माझ्या मनात भावनाकल्लोळ उडवून दिला होता, पण मानवी मन विचित्र असते, मी संतुष्ट झालो नाही.

फार पूर्वी (सुमारे ५० वर्षांपूर्वी) मी विदुषी झरीन दारुवाला यांचा सरोदवादनाचा कार्यक्रम मुंबईच्या सेंट झेवियर कॉलेज मध्ये ऐकला होता, त्यांची भैरवी अप्रतिम रंगली होती. सुदैवाने आता यूट्यूब मुळे कोणतेही रेकॉर्डिंग सापडते. आता लग्नानंतर त्या विदुषी झरीन शर्मा म्हणून प्रख्यात आहेत. सरोद सारखे अवघड वाद्य त्यांच्या बोटांची जादू झाल्यावर लगेच बोलू लागते. ही पहा त्यांच्या सरोद मधून प्रकट झालेली भैरवी: https://youtu.be/mFdgQIftMpc

एखाद्या ऋषिने तपस्येत ऐहिक आयुष्य घालवावे तसे या तपस्विनीने आपले आयुष्य सरोदवर साधना करताना घालवले आहे.

भैरवीच्या या तीन चार छटा आपल्याला ही निश्चित आवडल्या असतील अशी आशा करतो. आता एवढेच पुरे! शुभरात्री!

Categories
Humorous Songs Memories

A recall, and the path to immortality……

Charles Spencer Chaplin Jr. The name will, I am sure, evoke recall of a large number of memories for anyone a couple of generations before I was born, and a couple after me as well. An economic migrant into the US, he grew up in a childhood full of poverty and deprivation that undoubtedly cast a long shadow on his life, and was reflected in the lovely, immortal on-screen persona that he created as his doppelganger, the tramp. Very few people will know that he sailed to US in search of an existence that he was denied in the land of his birth and childhood, on a ship with his friend from the boondocks of London, Arthur Stanley Jefferson, his colleague on the stage group that called itself the Fred Karno’s Army on the same ship. We know Arthur Jefferson better by his stage name: Stan Laurel. About his extremely painful childhood , the man himself has said this:

I was hardly aware of a crisis because we lived in a continual crisis; and, being a boy, I dismissed our troubles with gracious forgetfulness.” Charlie Chaplin, on his childhood

Chaplin became a worldwide icon and is easily identified through his screen persona, the tramp, and is undoubtedly one of film industry’s most important figures, globally, throughout it’s existence of more than a century. His humongous career spanned more than 75 years, from his childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977. He received much more adulation and was quite sadly, embroiled in controversy by the rabid hatred for Socialism in the McCarthy/ Edgar Hoover era, which blighted his career and personal life, hounding him to an extent that he was forced to leave his adopted country to seek refuge in Switzerland in the same area which is the world headquarters of Nestle.

He inspired countless copycat acts, most famously giving even the extremely creative and precocious Raj Kapoor his raison d’être in a way. Many of Raj Kapoor’s monster hits (with the greatest global footprint ever achieved by any actor , Hollywood included: he was the toast of not just India and it’s neighbourhood, but also of the entire Soviet bloc east of the Iron Curtain all the way through to China, Turkey {Awaara was repeatedly copied by the Turks down to the songs, over decades}: he truly conquered more minds than Hitler and Taimur ever could without spilling a single drop of blood )

He inspired many an act that very unabashedly copied all ingredients of the Tramp’s persona. Look at this song from a 1947 movie, Shehnai. A movie produced and directed by P L Santoshi it had Nasir Khan with Indumati and Rehana in the lead, the movie was a huge commercial success , aided by its composer, C Ramachandra, in no small measure. The success of the movie also made Annasaheb’s career in a way. https://youtu.be/eQT_HmOUdRc

The song had funny lyrics written by P L Santoshi himself. The song has multiple recorded versions. The version used in the movie that you hear in this clip is sung by C Ramchandra himself ( he used the surname Chitalkar while singing, and that is how you will find the credits read) and Meena Kapoor ( who I know as the legendary Anil Biswas‘s wife). This song also had a longer version in which Shamshad Begum also figured. This clip shows Dulari and Mumtaz Ali (who is the dancer father of the comedian Mehmood and the noted danseuse Minoo Mumtaz). The get-up of the Tramp is faithfully recreated in every single detail when one sees Mumtaz Ali’s attire. Amazingly the second part where Shamshad Begum sang this song was picturised on Rehana. The records that were released even had Lalita Deulkar (who married Sudhir Phadke) & Amirbai Karnataki sing the same song. To me a unique event where 4 female singers sang the same song in separate versions.

This is the version with Shamshad, the tempo is a tad slower than the Meena Kapoor one. https://youtu.be/wsXEPAVkL_Y

Sadly Charlie Chaplin, the man who gave so much love and good cheer to the whole world was not just hounded during his lifetime but the torture continued even after his death. Grave robbers vandalized his resting vault, decamping with his burial casket with his remains and held them for ransom. An extension of black comedy he would have loved to include in his movies, before the cops caught up and restored him to his resting place. The man died in the early hours of Christmas, 1977 (I just can’t forget the date, I was shocked to read about it when studying at GS Medical College) On 1 March 1978, Chaplin’s coffin was dug up and stolen from its grave by Roman Wardas and Gantcho Ganev. (I remember the names 45 years on, as countless quizmasters have asked for them in quiz contests when I was active) The body was held as ransom in an attempt to extort money from his widow, Oona Chaplin. The pair were caught in a large police operation in May, and Chaplin’s coffin was found buried, thankfully intact in a field in a nearby village. It was re-interred in the Corsier cemetery in a reinforced concrete vault.

Stay safe, folks and stay healthy and happy. Looks like the monsoon has finally retreated. I wonder if it will return for yet another iteration later in the year. I will meanwhile oxygenate myself in a few hours, a weekly ritual that ensures I will die fresh, not stale…

Categories
Flowers Nature

बस यूँही…….


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Whenever I see this shade of hibiscus, I always feel it is some bashful adolescent PYT that’s going out for the evening and feels self confident as well as diffident at the same time, the latter colouring her fair countenance at the approving  glances of  admiration from those close to her.
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#Nature
#Flowers_In_our_Garden
#Hopelessly_In_Love_With_Nature

Categories
Devotional melodies Introspective melodies Spiritual music

Waking up, musically…

I woke up today with this raag playing in my head. The temporal distribution of raags in Hindustani Classical Music is amazingly intricate and apt in its logic. The raag just doesn’t sound right nor have the desired effect when rendered in a different time zone. The raag I woke up thinking of, albeit earlier than it should be played, as I get up much earlier than 6 am, is Ahir Bhairav. Ahir Bhairav is a raag of the first prahar of the day (6 am- 9 am) and is a mixture of the raag Bhairav and the less performed Ahiri (Abhiri) . It is a sampoorna- sampoorna raag with Rishabh and Nishad being komal in both Aaroha and Avaroha.

I am reminded of a famous, unique song sung by Ashatai Bhosle in a 40 year old movie, Vijeta, which was produced by Shashi Kapoor to launch and boost his son Kunal Kapoor‘s career in films. A really good movie that didn’t quite meet the degree of commercial success that it truly deserved. The music director is a relatively less known Ajit Varman who has showcased Ashatai’s singing prowess. She sings the entire melody with only a Tanpura for accompaniment. It is only when Satyasheel Deshpande starts singing as the Guru who is teaching Rekha that the tabla kicks in. Rekha’s strumming of the tanpura is just perfect. Daaji Bhatawadekar a famous actor from the Marathi stage is seen as the guru. I loved the movie and love the sublime song. BollyDaWood couldn’t take such grounded talent as Ajit Varman and that meant he didn’t get to show his oeuvre as much as should or could have. But who will & can ever forget his unmistakable class and touch of genius after listening to this one song just once? Truly one for the ages…. https://youtu.be/kPc_dyJbs1U

Talking of Ahir Bhairav in Hindi Films, I was immediately reminded of a rarely heard immortal melodic piece rendered by the most favourite Hindustani Classical Vocalist that I’ve heard and adored in my lifetime of listening, Swarmartand Pandit Jasraj. Jasrajji would almost always start every piece with a Sanskrit Shlok, instantaneously purifying the environment with his rendition of the few holy lines, setting the stage for an experience that was satiating to the ears, minds and indeed to the soul. Every single time this great man sang, he was but performing a pious act of praying and becoming one with the Supreme One, and made a huge difference to the spiritual quotient of the entire audience. Listen to this short piece he sang for a film called somewhat unimaginatively Ladki Sahyadri Ki, starring Sandhya, who was the thespian V Shantaram’s last known consort and later wife. https://youtu.be/rghEzGcBY00

V Shantaram made the movie in two languages (who else would dare/care to unleash and inflict Sandhya on the unsuspecting audience?) – the movie in Marathi was called Iye Marathichiye Nagari. The Hindi version was called Sahyadri Ki Ladki and had music by Vasant Desai, a fantastic composer who was mistreated by Shantaram. (Exactly as he did another composer , Ramlal). This song was rendered by a very young (at the time) Pandit Jasraj ji (who was married to Shantaram’s daughter Madhura ji. )

The music for the movie (in both languages) was composed by Vasant Desai, has this amazingly introspective bhajan by Pandit Jasraj “Vandana Karo Archana Karo”. Pandit Jasraj sang only four songs in four films, Ladki Sahayadri Ki (1966), Birbal My Brother (1975) and 1920 (2008) and Anant Mahadevan’s Gour Hari Dastaan (2013).

The background music was also by Vasant Desai, who had actually parted ways with Shantaram following Do Aankhen Barah Haath under rather acrimonious circumstances, with I suppose more blame going to Shantaram.

However, on Shantaram’s specific request, he returned to compose music for Ladki Sahyadri Ki.

The lyricist for Ladki Sahyadri Ki was Bharat Vyas, and the singers were Pandit Jasraj, Asha Bhosle, Amar Shaikh, Mahendra Kapoor and Suman Kalyanpur.

An amazing set of songs apt for the time. They will haunt me through the day.

Stay safe, folks, stay healthy and happy.

Categories
Environment Human nature Introspection Nature

बस यूँही…..


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The passion in virtually every city dweller’s heart is to be in more natural surroundings, an opportunity denied by the exigencies of having to stay cooped up in a faceless urban existence.

At every opportunity the restless soul will attempt to go back to refresh itself by nurturing in nature…
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#Naturescapes
#Nature_photography
#Sounds_Of_Silence
#Soul_Food
#Hopelessly_In_Love_With_Nature

Pic from the fields of Shri Shrinivas Khedkar

Categories
Romantic songs Usha Khanna

Addictive intoxication….

I heard this song on the car radio coming back from the hospital, the car got miraculously converted to a time machine and I was instantly taken back half a century in time.

Rafisaab in this mood is truly matchless. He brings in a sweetness, an intensity of ardour that would make the most misanthropic of people to turn extremely soft, and make him/her fall in love head over heels with the first person that chances into his ken.Satin smooth. Like the best chocolates, finest wines or gourmet food, the effect lingers on, much after you’ve experienced this.

First things first, let’s listen to this song. https://youtu.be/ZuqjSF5Gxus

That’s a clearly very love lorn Shamsher Raj Kapoor aka Shammi Kapoor pushing his suit with a PYT: Asha Parekh was not yet 17 when this movie was being made and the adolescent glow clearly shows on her countenance. The movie, Dil Deke Dekho was made by Sashadhar Mukherjee for his own production house, Filmalaya, located at Andheri. Sashadhar Babu started with Bombay Talkies in Malad, then broke away with Gyan Mukherjee (director) , Ashok Kumar (Dadamoni was his brother in law), and Raibahadur Chunilal (Madan Mohan’s father) & started a production company called Filmistan a few kilometers to the south in Goregaon , and then broke away a few years later to start Filmalaya. All 3 in the Northwestern suburbs, all along the arterial road that was once called Ghodbunder Road, that was then named Swami Vivekanand Road. Dil Deke Dekho, made in the late 50s, is a milestone for many reasons. It was Nasir Hussain’s second film as a director after Tumsa Nahin Dekha made a couple of years earlier, which became a big hit and gave the then struggling Shammi Kapoor (whose career was in the doldrums) a rejuvenated career as a dancing hero with unique contortions and a strong comic slant. It was natural for Nasir Hussain and Shammi Kapoor to team up once again for this film. Asha Parekh, a former child actress, made her debut as the female lead, and what a memorable debut it turned out to be. Amazingly Sashadhar Babu also gave a break to another teenager as a music composer, breaking another glass ceiling. This was  Usha Khanna‘s first film. Although there had been 3 female composers before her in Bollywood, none achieved her volume even after she made such a massive impact.

Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote the poetic lyrics for this song that I really love. https://youtu.be/ig8PF-Oo1jw

Sheer romance, treacly sweet and eternally capable of giving me goosebumps, any time, anyplace.

Stay safe, folks, stay healthy and happy. I will play the song in a continuous loop inside my head.

Categories
Environment Nature

बस यूँही…….


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The single large acacia tree makes a great counterpoint against the backdrop of an expanse of paddy fields and a mountain ridge in the background. It usually offers refuge to a large number of Weaver birds (Baya) that weave their lovely flask like nests suspended from the thorny branches. For an inexplicable reason, the Baya have all but disappeared from the area this year, barring just a few pairs. A mystifying event, and one that is rather sad, too.
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#Naturescapes,
#Loneliness,
#Shelter,
#Hopelessly_in_love_with_nature

Categories
Ghazals Romantic songs

Animal magnetism…

I actually first heard a terrible caricature of this song using the same mukhda from a very nasal Kumar Sanu, from an early 90s movie called Soldier with Bobby Deol and Preity Zinta. I wonder which army in the world except the Taliban or its overground arm, the TTP would allow a soldier to grow his hair to shoulder length mop of unkempt curls? Soon after this I discovered this gem by the # 2 Ghazal singer in my books ( distant after the unquestionable #1, the incomparable Mehdi Hassan) . Amazingly a few days back when I’d heard it a few times on loop in my car, my wise Ghazal Aficionado friend from Philadelphia sent me the same link in a personal message. https://youtu.be/AfAJC8ioVus

The simple, straightforward ghazal is by Agha Bismil. A narrative that’s easy to understand.

तेरी बात ही सुनाने आये, दोस्त भी दिल ही दुखाने आये
फूल खिलते हैं तो हम सोचते हैं तेरे आने का ज़माने आये

शायद मुझे निकाल के पछता रहे हो आप
महफ़िल में इस ख़याल से फिल आ गया हूँ मैं

महफ़िल में बार बार किसी पर नज़र गई
हमने बचाई लाख मगर फिर उधर गई

उनकी नज़र में कोई तो जादू ज़ुरूर है
जिस पर पड़ी, उसी के जिगर तक उतर गई

उस बेवफा की आँख से आंसू झलक पड़े
हसरत भारी निगाह बड़ा काम कर गई

उनके जमाल-इ-रुख पे उन्ही का जमाल था
वोह चल दिए तो रौनक-इ-शाम-ओ-सहर गई

उनको खबर करो के है बिस्मिल करीब-इ-मर्ग
वोह आयेंगे ज़ुरूर जो उन तक खबर गई

An amazing ghazal that Ghulam Ali rendered before he sadly fell into the habit of playing to the gallery, at the cost of his gayaki. When he used to sing sincerely, he was good and I have some very good memories of the times. Sadly, later he sacrificed that for cheap thrills of showboating and evoking admiration from the baser elements of the audience. He couldn’t ever match the purity of the great Khansaheb Mehdi Ali sahab for the exhilarating, sublime singing, ever, but he does have a style that’s more in keeping with his extroversion. Mehdi sahab remained truly committed to his craft and I’ve never heard him indulge in vocal antics like our man. https://youtu.be/XsWHUUQ2mf0

Thanks to Nick Maneckshaw that I wrote this piece, an indication of what Ghulam Ali can do, if he sets his mind to it.

Stay safe, folks. Stay happy and healthy. Enjoy the monsoon in retreat over our great country.

Categories
Birds Environment

बस यूँही…..


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I noticed the Brown  shrike sitting alone on a power cable around 200 metres away. My canine was tugging at my hand, excited and energized in the great outdoors. I got a single shot of the bird looking at something interesting to its left. A very common bird in the neighborhood.
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The brown shrike (Lanius cristatus) is a common bird of the shrike family that is found mainly in Asia. It is closely related to other shrikes.  The genus (Lanius) name,is derived from “butcher” in Latin  and some shrikes are also known as “butcher birds” because of their feeding habits. The specific cristatus is the Latin word for “crested”, used in a broader sense than in English. The common English name “shrike” is from the Old English word from scríc, “shriek”, referring to the shrill call.