lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Another goodbye

If I never met him, I wouldn't be mourning him. I blame it on K, of course. I met him because K is a mathematician and students and quasi-students have a way of becoming family, more or less.

I hate, I absolutely hate phones when they bring bad news.

He was a guy I could talk turkey with. Yeah, okay, let's be simple: he was a guy I could talk about the nitty gritty of Carnatic music with. He knew what I meant when I made a pedantic statement that "Viriboni" is an encyclopaedia of the mode Bhairavi. He knew tempi and agonies of learning.

He learnt Indian music, the Carnatic violin, from the father of the L brothers and many were the times we talked music. He could talk about Vivaldi just as knowledgeably as about Syama Sastry's Yadukulakambhoji svarajati or on the care and nurture of musical instruments. He could analyse the nuances of Hindustani and Carnatic versions of ragas.

He was a grand cook. He loved cooking for friends and bringing over dishes to sample. He taught my maid to do a variation on the theme of chicken that I couldn't have, since I am a vegetarian.

He had an infectious laugh, and he laughed a lot.

He could perpetrate multilingual puns.

He was all soul and understanding. He was gentle and caring.

He is no more.

I hate cancer, that horrible disease. But he is gone now. I have memories of listening to music together, and sharing awe and amazement at approaches and interpretations.

I have memories of cooking upma, that innocuous breakfast item, for him. Because he knew it is not an easy dish to make and required adeptness. He used to cook for K and I wish I cooked more for him. It is in feeding that one expresses how much one cares, after all.

If I ever find another pal to sing "Viriboni" along with me, that pal would have a hard time measuring up to Georges Lindenmeyer.

I tell you, life is so unfair. I hate this, but nothing would do but I have to quote the Swan of Avon again. Good night, Sweet Prince.


Anonymous Ash said...

I am sorry to hear of your loss. My condolences to the family and friends.

3:22 pm  
Blogger Rimi said...

September, I find yet again, is not a good month for the heart. Hugs, Lali.

7:09 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Ash- Thank you. I will miss George horribly all my life.

Rimi- Thanks, love. I needed that. I will miss him and miss him and miss him, for various reasons, but mostly because I loved him.

8:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:46 am  
Anonymous Prophet of Doom said...

@ Lalita:

It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

- George S. Patton, Jr.

My deepest condolences ....

7:17 am  
Anonymous Prophet of Doom said...


Turn on word verification to prevent spam comments like the one above mine.

7:17 am  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Ram- Thank you. That is a lovely sentiment.
I did turn on word verification for a while, and found it irksome that I had to do it every time I wanted to reply to comments myself. I reckoned most readers would find it equally irritating and went back to my original settings.

11:07 am  
Anonymous Prophet of Doom said...

@ lalita:

Don't you find spam comments irksome ?

4:47 am  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

I do, but less irksome than typing a string of gibberish letters that look strange everytime I want to post a comment.

11:26 am  
Blogger Shankari said...

I've felt this way too- but surprisingly (or not) not all the people I miss dearly are dead. Some just walk away :(

I believe that all these people I bond with, at different levels, whether they be dead or alive, are just around me - they don't actually go away, do they?

(or perhaps I just need the services of an extremely capable exorcist!)

12:46 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Shankari- Nah. I feel the same. As long as they are remembered, they are around. Um, maybe I need an exorcist, too?

12:53 pm  
Blogger abhorigine said...

How you love people! And you mention one of Syama Sastri's swarajatis in the same breath as one you mourn deeply. How perfectly fitting! If I had the choice, I would die listening to the Yadukulakambhoji swarajati.

11:58 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Ram- If I had a choice, I'd die listening to the Bhairavi svarajati, but let's not quibble, any Syama Sastri composition will do.

7:58 am  
Blogger abhorigine said...

On second thoughts, the Bhairavi svarajati it is. What grandeur! The essence of Carnatic music.


12:43 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

You know, svarajatis are so under-rated. There are such lovely ones out there, all relatively unknown. But Syama sastri's are something else. Or his Anandbhairavi varnam. That is sublime.

1:07 pm  
Blogger abhorigine said...

Why are they underrated? I think they represent the best in Carnatic music. And Syama Sastri! What a composer! I love his Durusuga in Saveri, for instance.

9:14 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Ram- Come on, when was the last time you heard a concert starting with a svarajati? Unless things have changed in the years I have been away and they now sing geethams in a concert or suchlike.

Ah, the Saveri is another thing. A gem of a composition.

10:42 pm  
Blogger ash said...

No words to express, knowing that you've lost someone so close. Wish I could take away some of your sorrow...take care n God bless...ash

5:13 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Ash- Thank you for feeling moved enough to comment on an old post. Not that the sorrow is ever forgotten, but it does lessen with time and becomes saudade. Take care.

5:30 pm  

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