Ustad Bismillah Khan's shehnai has managed to make me feel elated as well as brought tears to my eyes.
Knowledgeable people will have a lot more to say. I am not knowledgeable. For me, it is images...
An old toothless smiling visage.
A cross-legged man at the banks of the Ganges like an aging Krishna.
A raconteur sitting on a khatiya regaling his interviewer with fading memories.
A musician who tranformed the humble wedding "toon-toon-toon" sound into pure classical syrup.
A sad man in need of money who had to write a couple of years ago to the prime minister to help him out with his medical expenses.
A happy man who refused to move out of his humble kutiya and yet became a global citizen.
His shehnai sounds came sometimes like the pahadi plaint of a lover on a mountain top and sometimes as a cry from the depth of the ocean of a drowning sigh.
Such souls in sounds live on. Only bodies perish.
Bismillah is always the beginning.