It was in the early 1980s that I heard Pandit Bhimsen Joshi live in a December Season's evening concert at Chennai. He mesmerised the audience with his melodious, shruthi-laden voice for over two hours. Throughout the concert, the lights were dimmed and only Panditji and his accompanists were visible on the dais. Towards the end, the lights were brightened and the audience was visible. Panditji sighted the legendry M.S. Subbulakshmi and her husband Sadasivam in the front row.

As soon as the concert ended, to the surprise of all, Panditji virtually jumped from the dais and took a deep bow at M.S. The two musicians then exchanged pleasantries. What a sight it was!

C.V. Gopal,


Some of Panditji's best programmes were no doubt his jugalbandis with Balamurali Krishna, which many mention. Another masterpiece was his teaming up with artist M.F. Husain. What a great thought it was to telecast the programme on DD!

I had the rare opportunity to watch the hour-long programme in which Bhimsenji rendered a raga and Mr. Husain completed his art on a big canvas at the same time. The sight of Mr. Husain sitting and enjoying the concert in intervals was great. The programme is etched in my memory. I could never see a repeat telecast.

K.R.K. Prabhakara Murty,


More In: Letters | Opinion