My Blog shall be better written BigB Blogs News Amitabh Bachchan
Sahara Sheher , Lucknow U.P Nov 23/24 , 2010 Tue/ Wed 12 : 39 AM
At the waiting lounge at T3 in Delhi it seemed the entire city was headed for Lucknow and the wedding in the Sahara Parivar ! So many known faces all heading for the event – possibly the last wedding for a long time in their family, since everyone else’s has been done. So I was informed by SaharaShri, Subroto Roy, the Chairman and owner of this multi faceted business empire.
It darkened at 3 in the afternoon and a slight cloud above added to the haze that accompanied us as we flew in. Lucknow … the city of the Nawabs .. the great cultural heritage, the ‘tehzeeb’, the many famous eating places, the religious centers, seat of some historic educational campuses and now the capital of this most vast and politically most important state – it contributing over 80 elected seats, the largest, in Parliament for the Lok Sabha.
Sahara Shaher is a city within a city, a vast area dedicated to the housing of this business empire and its offices .. tastefully decorated and pleasing to the eye with all the efforts made in greening the entire area and at night lit up in every corner with fairy lights to give it that special dream like feel.
I visit the city and the Sheher after long and am happy to find it the same – warm welcome and hospitable to the T. Familiar known faces, broad smiled, courteous and disciplined extend their joy and happiness around us, and it feels like coming home after a longish spell.
After a few moments of formalities back in the room within the city and a desperate attempt first, to get an internet connection. The thought of not being able to reach out to the FmXt, sending me into spells of frustration and anger as the computer experts struggle to get a Mac connected to the cyber world.
They have succeeded somewhat .. but yes ‘somewhat’ would be as far as I am comfortable going with. It serves my purpose and as I complete my Blog on Word through sound advice a number of times when I lost it, I wonder if by the time I am ready all connectivity shall still be alive – this location is a little far off and most of the facilities here in this city cannot possibly be compared with those of a metro ! But … it has all it takes and is working towards it. There are massive and artistically constructed edifices and boundaried areas for just public interest. Imposing I must say. Put up by Ms Mayawati, the Chief Minister of this state of U.P, Uttar Pradesh in the memory of Dr Ambedkar, the most accomplished brain of the times and the one that drafted the first Constitution of India. Dr Ambedkar was a Dalit, a cast that was considered below the standards of social standings. Now a Dalit , Mayawati, rules this most populated State !
As the evening falls and the news on the Tv begins to narrate the days topics we come to learn of India’s tennis victory and the victory over NewZealand in the Test cricket in quite a ‘turn of the tide’ match – NZ wiped out with an innings defeat. But shockingly too we listen in to the Hockey defeat by Malaysia and the lost chances of the team to make to the final, because Pakistan our arch rivals in this vocation, have, through a dramatic win in another match. India must be feeling terrible, for they had beaten Pakistan earlier to get to where they are now. But to see themselves lose and worse to see Pakistan going through to the final by an amazing game in their half with the other teams, is a point that they shall never forget. Sad ! The Indian coach after this defeat has resigned !!
The reception in another larger area of this complex is where we are headed next and on arrival we wedge through hundreds of people to go across and wish the newly married couple. That done, I am attracted to a section of this large outlay auditorium where a group of singers and musicians perform from an isolated platform.
I sit down in front of them as a mark of respect to the musicians and am immediately transported into a most stunning performance of such exceptional quality, that I have not moved an inch of my concentration from them. They are magical. The singers in classical Indian, sing impromptu, a few lines from a religiousbhajan and dwell on it for time immemorial. There are three of them – a lady and two male accompanied by a host of musicians on the traditional – tanpura, tabla, dhol, bansuri, harmonium – and I cannot describe what an atmosphere they did bind. The only sour moment were the crowds of invitees that continuously hounded about us, paying scant respect to the performance that was unfolding in front of us !
I have always disliked and indeed hated disrespect shown to such performers. Classical music performed live needs a quiet silent concentrated atmosphere, not a bazaar buzzing with inane requests for autographs and photographs while the talented musicians display their magic and sound. How sad that we cannot appreciate their worth.
But despite all the disturbance and the commotion around, the art of the players was astounding. The lady singing important verses from the Granth Sahib of the Sikhs and taken over by the two male singers that synchronized that, with their interpretation of the bhajans of the North or mid India, Hindi speaking belt. It was just incredible how without any prior knowledge or written music the two sets of performers synchronized with each other – the one taking over from the other as soon as they finished a particular strain.
And as I heard them in concentration, I am determined now, to get some professional assistance or training to be able to imbibe this great tradition. Nothing about me mattered during the time we sat there. All that I was getting was endless moments of an art form which sadly I have no technical knowledge of. And as you get transported almost trance like into another world, the spell of the moment drives you to believe in the fruitlessness of the times and vocation. You wish solitude and singularity. To be able to develop the craft and to sing for the pleasure of oneself, one soul. The impurities dropping off, immune, distant ..
They have predicted astrologically that I shall be very close to renouncing the world .. ha ha .. do you think this is that moment ? I visit the site often metaphorically … never in reality. May be some day it happens .. maybe someday it does not .. what would I be .. an isolated image of those that renounced and existed in penury and prayer, or would it be Russian Hamlet like, surrounded perpetually by the partied crowds, but walking among them in isolated aloofness .. there but not there !! In it yet out of it !! Divorced from materialism or divorced from myself !!
And as the tempo increases and the almost orgasmic finale approaches, every hair on the body responds with it. The eyes well up and subside knowing how difficult it would be to last through this moment in such vulnerable state … and yet they keep coming, wetting the eyes, breaking the emotional barriers, that are not supposed to be associated with man.
I must have them over to the house someday. A small gathering of friends, knowledged and appreciative … and when they finish I walk up to them and tell them so. Their humility and grace embarrasses me. I must learn more. I know so little. I am nothing. Such a pity. I want to go back and learn all this again and with competence. I need to work more on myself, to improve, to gather, to assimilate …
Perhaps I shall be a fulfilled man .. or then perhaps, my Blog shall be better written .. !!
Good night all and with love