Ravi Shankar was the finest sitar player of our time (nota bene, far better than the teental-only crashing bore Vilayat what’s-his-name).

Ravi Shankar tickling Alubhai Khan

Ravi Shankar tickling Alubhai Khan

 

Photo source: Ustad Ali Akbar Khan by Ramlal Mathur (Maharaja Mansingh Pustak Prakash Research Centre, Jodhpur, 2004)

 

November 30 marks the birth anniversary of Balkrishna Bhagwant Borkar (1910-1984), affectionately known as Bakibab, the poetic genius from Goa.

Bakibab wrote in both his mother tongue Konkani and in Marathi. The slender, jejune entry devoted to him in Wikipedia makes you weep. (This is par for the course for Indians, the champions of bluster, wallowers in ignorance of their own traditions.)

I took the following photograph in Bakibab‘s village of Borim on a foggy morning earlier this year.

Bakibab Borkar memorial in Borim, Goa

Bakibab Borkar memorial in Borim, Goa
5D Mark II, Zeiss ZE 50 f/2 MP

 

In this video, another great Goan, Jitendra Abhisheki, remarks on Bakibab‘s romance with words and their intertwinement with music. He also speaks of their love of Goa.

 

A Bakibab classic, tuned in Raga Kalyan and rendered by Abhisheki.

 
 

A sketch of his life has been added to his folder in the Vijaya Parrikar Library. It was written by his daughter Shilpa Andharia and translated by Kumud Bhatt of Bhavnagar. My thanks to Professor Kumar Bhatt for following up and making this account available.

Sweet.

In a glaring case of mistaken identities, the Delhi Police arrested Pandit Jasraj instead of Sudheendra Kulkarni in connection with the ‘cash for votes sting entrapment’ case. Both Kulkarni and Panditji had been travelling on the same flight to Delhi and the classical vocalist was mistaken for the former Advani aide and picked up as soon as he entered the tarmac after alighting from the plane.
 

All the salacious details here.