June 16th was the 89th birth anniversary of Hemanta Da.
I would not have known this if I had not stumbled upon a news report in the Calcutta edition of one major Indian newspaper.
I've not had the good fortune of meeting Hemanta Da, but he like Rafi Sa'ab, Kishore Da and Mukesh and all the others were without a doubt members of my family.
They gave me joy and they gave me company, they inspired me and introduced me to shimmers and shades of mood and meaning.
They nourished my roots to my languages, culture and country as no school or teacher could have even tried.
To even think of death, in the company of such uproariously vivacious beings is mad. For me and millions of music lovers they will forever be our uncles and aunts.
Point 1. Bongs may not know much about TMS or Sirgazhi Govindarajan; but that is their problem and in a janma or two, I am confident they will sort it out.
But what I would really like the tone deaf, philistines of the Indian editorial class to know is .... Hemanta Da does not belong to Calcutta alone.
It is truly outrageous to tuck him away in a mohalla report. Hemanta Da is a national legacy.
A towering standard of virtuosity.
We are extraordinarily fortunate to have such a variegated legacy to celebrate.
So why does our media only want to dig graves and bury it?
June 25 was the 86th birth anniversary of Madan Mohan sa'ab. Born according to Wikpedia in Baghdad.
Now that's another global Indian!
What a magician!
Show me a woman today who can come on to a man for four minutes and eighteen seconds of sustained passion and I'll show you somebody who will very soon be made mincemeat by our necrophilous media.
Michael Jackson - Stopped Before He Got Enough
From a young age Jackson was physically and emotionally abused by his father, enduring incessant rehearsals, whippings and name-calling. Jackson's abuse as a child affected him throughout his grown life. In one altercation — later recalled by Marlon Jackson — Joseph held Michael upside down by one leg and "pummeled him over and over again with his hand, hitting him on his back and buttocks". Joseph would often trip up, or push the male children into walls. One night while Jackson was asleep, Joseph climbed into his room through the bedroom window. Wearing a fright mask, he entered the room screaming and shouting. Joseph said he wanted to teach his children not to leave the window open when they went to sleep. For years afterwards, Jackson suffered nightmares about being kidnapped from his bedroom.
Jackson first spoke openly about his childhood abuse in a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey. He said that during his childhood he often cried from loneliness and would sometimes get sick or start to vomit upon seeing his father.
In Jackson's other high profile interview, Living with Michael Jackson (2003), the singer covered his face with his hand and began crying when talking about his childhood abuse.
Jackson recalled that Joseph sat in a chair with a belt in his hand as he and his siblings rehearsed and that "if you didn't do it the right way, he would tear you up, really get you." Wikipedia
Any consideration of Michael Jackson's awesome oeuvre has to include his angelic triumph over his brutal childhood.
His music was his triumph. A writing in the sky iteration of his love and sanity.
And just as violent repression by sections of the establishment is a thick black strand running through the history of Rock and Roll, so is love, love as feeling and love as healing, a theme through Michael Jackson's work.
No question, Michael Jackson was one of the sanest human beings of the 20th century.
To attempt to anachronise Michael Jackson is ridiculous. As for that matter is rest of Kaveree Bamzai's hurried, ahistorical, all motion no memory piece.
Harried and narcissistic column writers may want the President of the United States all for themselves,but POTUS would do well to acknowledge that he stands on the shoulders of many, many human beings who stood up and asserted their sanity.
Farah Khan makes a confession of the most acute cultural malnourishment, when she calls MJ her "guru".
O Tempora O Mores
What about the allegations of child molestation ?
First, I never believed them.
Second, remember they were brought to you by the same wonderful folks who gave you Saddam Hussein's Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Third, the world over children, women and others who are not certified members of the power structure are treated with varying degrees of brutality. Those in power are quickly handed a cloak of invisibility by the media.
A case in point.
How many in India know that the Vatican has paid out close to a hundred million dollars to compensate for victims of child sexual abuse by albeit "a small minority" of priests.
The Indian media has barely reported that story.
Was the media's heinous silence an act of concern for Indian children or a hideously wrongheaded act of leaving well enough alone ?
The world treated this angel of light the way it treats its children.
We starve them and deny them. We pimp them and brutalize them. We load their futures with the costs of our profligacy. And we kill them. Yet we believe and behave as though we have some special wisdom to impart.
Michael Jackson, there are many in India, who rooted for you since your Jackson Five days.
We are shocked and grieve your untimely passing.
But you will always be with us.