No words

The world is fast being depleted of its geniuses, beautiful minds and wonderful human beings. Today we lost yet another great one.

I’ve spent a large part of today what I thought was an inexplicable funk. Not much got done. The lunch I cooked was insipid. After a half-hearted meal, I did something else I rarely do — dozed off for an extra long nap, when I should have been catching up on work. At 5 pm, when I still didn’t feel compelled to drag myself out of bed, I felt maybe I should just give in to the funk. Because I realised it is after all not without reason.

I don’t know why the news affected me at all. It’s not like I knew the man. I have only been an admirer of the music. Despite not being too big on Carnatic music, something about his gentle smile, the casual almost too easy way in which his music flowed, and the fact that it stood out so much in the Remember Shakti ensemble (which is where I’ve heard him the most) has always made me love him, his music and the subtle, happy, smiling person that he seemed to be.

I was at the gym when I got the news this morning, and from that moment on I was all over the place. Distracted and unable to keep it together. Something about being totally blindsighted by news of death brought memories of that January day when I went to visit Ajju in Bombay, rushing back to my mind. I had made the trip just to look him up, spend some time with him. A hugely delayed flight led me to arrive some 7 hours too late, ring the doorbell at almost-crack-of-dawn, try and catch some sleep. I woke up later than usual, had a hearty breakfast with ajju, after which he retired to his favourite chair to read his newspapers from end to end. He was up and about, ate a perfectly full breakfast, chatted with me inquiring about everything that was important. Ten minutes later, when I went into his room to ask what he would like for lunch, he had slumped in his chair. Peacefully, silently breathed his last. It was almost like he was holding on to meet me. And I couldn’t have been more grateful for those ten minutes I managed to get, major delays notwithstanding.

Death is never easy, more so when it takes you by surprise. More so when it comes too soon. No reasons are good enough, nothing ever pacifies just enough, and once again, all I can think is it was time to take the music to another world.Just like I did when Ajju passed on.

Today we lost another one — a prodigy, gone too soon. I have no words, except Thank You for the music.

7 thoughts on “No words

    1. It wasnt even in the news until half the day had passed, Very strange, untimely death and I dont think many people even knew he was suffering a liver condition. Tragic doesnt even begin to describe this.


  1. R

    I have never seen death up close. While that makes me immensely grateful for it, I also wonder how hard it will be for me, when it does happen. With the grandparents now at home, it is an everyday reality. Early this week, I woke to the sounds of appa calling out to my grandmum. The ‘amma’ kept getting a little louder and urgent, each time; finally, she shook awake. My knowledge of Mandolin Srinivas is also from Remember Shakti and my limited knowledge of their music. But when you are in Chennai, you always ‘know’ some of the prominent Carnatic musicians. He was low profile, warm and ever- smiling. And 45 is no age to die. Hugs. Hope that cloud clears soon.


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