Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The end of an era.

Pt. Dinkar Kaikini passed away last week. He was one of the greats of Hindustani Music, and was also the father and Guru of my Guru.

He was elegant and dignified, stoic and assured. He had kind eyes, and a tiny smile was always playing on his lips. I was in awe of him in my younger days, but he always made me comfortable with an affectionate word.

His music - where do I start? Before I was introduced to his music, I had a number of albums by the more popular and well-known musicians. I listened to them with great enjoyment and reverence. But after hearing Pt.Kaikini's music, I started classifying those very albums as, to my horror, lounge music. I couldn't even bear to listen to some of those albums again!

But what is it about his music? It is profound and sincere. And very heavy. It's the real thing. It's magical, the way his voice wraps itself around some notes - guaranteed to move me to tears. Listening to some of his recordings is like meditating.

But that is not all there was to him. He was a composer too. Most of the compositions in Hindustani music are small - four-line compositions that form the base for the development of the Raaga. Unlike Carnatic Music, which is rich and brimming with elaborate compositions, Hindustani music doesn't lay much emphasis on the lyrics. But Pt.Kaikini's compositions are magnificent. Like my grandmother once observed, "I thought Hindustani music compositions are all about separation from the beloved, and the occasional prayer to God, but Pt.Dinkar Kaikini's compositions are something else."

Beautiful lyrics, wonderful meaning - about God, nature and philosophy. And not only that - the words themselves are so beautiful that you want to pop them in your mouth, roll them about with your tongue and savour them, if you know what I mean. He was a genius!

He was a music scholar - with immense knowledge about music. He was also well-known for his lecture-demonstrations.

I understand that his music might not have popular appeal. For that, I am all the more thankful that I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to know his music, to have been given the resources to appreciate it and soak in it.

I've hardly met him ten times (he lived in Bombay), but the loss feels very personal.


Abhinav said...

It is indeed such a great tragedy... he was the guru of my guru's guru...never met him personally but i know him through his music..

Abhipraya said...

You have a with words. I have never Pt Kaikini but now i want to...

Abhipraya said...

gosh my typing! I mean I have never heard him and now i want to!

Shruthi said...

I agree. Panditji will be missed. His music will definitely stay with us. specially his Thumris'. Divine.

Poppy said...

Do you have links to his music? Can you share?

Veena said...

Shruthi, I am interested in learning Hindustani Music, can you please give me details about classes conducted by your Guru, please.

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