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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Driving the Ghana Ghandarvan

Yesudas the famous singer from Kerala is known as Ghana Gandharvan which is to me and and to many of his fans very apt .
gifted with a melifillous voice perfected with professional training in classical carnatic music under the tutelage of the doyen Sembai Vaidyanadha Bhagvathar ,Yesuadas is a living legend .
His is a face one imagines when thinking of Kerala along with backwaters ,coconut trees and the like.
known for his tolerance in religious and social matters ,erudite thinking and wisdom ,he is a great entertainer liked by all sections of people across the world .
His humility is his greatest asset .
This post is on my personal experience with the great man for which Iam ever grateful .

It all started when our good family friend the late Mr Rao who was a senior officer in the government and also a prolific orator in the lecture circuit in philosophy and theology ,a self learned musician Rao delighted in auditory electronics and had a great collection of records of classical music ,he knew Yesudas well and once when Dasettan had come to cochin he told me he could invite him to shilpa special school which was being run in memory of my daughter .
Dasettan agreed to come and I went with Mr Rao to bring him to our school .
i was awed by his presence ,here was someone I had listened to since childhood and he was in spotless white handsome in his black beard with soft melting intense eyes ,he was very modest and made me at ease with simple conversation ,that day Dasettan came with this wife to our school and interacted with our children ,he was very impressed and was full of good words on the work being done as we returned .he was very vocal on many matters and told me his views on health and ayurveda ,it was like knowing him for years !!
the next time I met him was when we called him to lay the foundation stone for our new building ,he promptly agreed to our request and said he would reach there precisely at the ordained time and there was no need for anyone to pick him up as he knew palluruthy well
( he studied in a school there ) .
I was delighted as he kept calling me Hari and not doctor ,
so the D day came and morning the preparations began ,suddenly a small desire came to me to go and pick him up even though he expressly told me not to do so ,my co brother too told me "let us go harietta it will be nice to do that and so off we went ."
Dasettan wasnt amused at all he was frowning and he told me"I told you doctor dont bother to to come and I would be there ,did you not believe me ? actually I came from Chennai only for this function ."
I mumbled "but Dasetta I thought I needed to escort you ",he replied
"well that is precisely what I dont want I hate all formalities ,Iam a simple person ",saying this he went in asking us to sit down ,it was embarassing for me indeed and I cursed myself for the mistake .
It became 5 minutes to 8 am and Dasettan was waiting for his driver who had taken the vehicle somewhere the previous night to come and pick him up ,he was a stickler to punctuality and held great importance to auspicious timings for functions ,he paced up and down a little irritated ,
suddenly he said " Hari let us go in your car ! "
wow he called me Hari again !
delighted we ran and opened the door of my humble Maruti to him ,it was all dirty after a long distance trip ,i apologised to him saying the car isnt neat he got in and said Iam not going to sleep here or anything so what is the problem , and so I sat in the front seat and pramodh my cobrother drove the vehicle ,just beyond the gate we saw Dasettans driver zooming into the house in his white Ford ,
I said Dasetta you car has come so you can come in that and we shall follow ,
Why you want me to get down ,no way let him learn a lesson for coming late Iam coming with you and thank God you came Hari
well well most unexpected turn of events indeed .
Dasettan was in fine form after that when we commented on how he made people so easy with him and why he never behaved like the celebrity he is ,he said Iam just another human with some God given talents what difference is there ?
If I remove my beard people may not even recognise me in the streets ,all this came sincerley and there was no false airs at all .
Slowly we aksed Dasettan to sing us some of his famous pieces and I think it was one of my luckiest days to get a personal perfomance from my favourite singer .
Dasettan did all we asked him to do ,all the lovely Salil Chowdry songs which i like immensely was rendered sweetly ,it was like a listeners choice for us in those humble surroundings ,the geat man even demonstrated on how to chant AUM from the pit of the stomach .
In the end it was worth it as Dasettan performed the foundation stone laying and we took him back in the same memorable way ,a day I can never forget .
a day with the Ghana Gandharvan himself singing for us !!!!while we drove him !!


Sadasiv Swain said...

Ghana Ghandarvan or not Yesudas is my favorite singer and as you have described my head bows before his renderings in Hindi. Thanks for providing some details of this legend and it makes me particularly happy for his empathy for a group of people who deserve far superior social integration through the efforts of the likes of this legendary idol.

prakash said...

Indeed, Yesudas is an all time favorite with me and my family. I particularly like his Tamil songs. I remember a few years ago there was a media induced controversy around Yesudas, most TV channels were cashing in on it by airing mimicry programs about him. My mother and her cousins (who are ardent Yesudas)were almost on the verge of tears when they saw them making fun of their idol. They felt as if our own family members were being insulted in public. That’s when I realized how deep the Gana Gandharvan has touched our hearts with his divine voice. Our best wishes to him and you for keeping us entertained with music and the blog respectively.
Prakash Ambady

harimohan said...

dear swain and prakash
tks for your comments
people like dasettan hearten the hearts of many and are blessed souls

Anonymous said...

I specially like his song "hari chandanam niranja vrindavanam...". He has always been a heartthrob. Thank you for sharing this.

Maddy said...

that was nice - especially knowing about the person behind the singer. I have always heard that he was an arrogant chap, probably mellowed now..have seen a live performance of his at calicut many years ago and he did get angry during that performance. After a subequent performance, where again he got upset with the audience, he stated that he would never sing in Calicut. Then many years later, after he started Tarangini (I think) he came again to calicut and sange after making an apology for his earlier behaviour.

Dr.Nadarajan said...

From Malayalam to English.
Gaana Gandharvan ,For 'gaana' Malayalam syllable 'GA ',is used.When 'GH 'is used,it denotes more stress.
Your sojourn with Dasettan is remarkable

harimohan said...

dear maddy
tks ,stories always abound celebrities some may be true ,but to my limited experience with dasettan he is a great soul and iam lucky to have had that experience ,tks for your comments .

harimohan said...

dear nadarajan
sorry for that error ,i can rely on you to correct me ,will be careful from now on ,it is vital that the correct spelling is chosen ,and tks for your comments .

raj said...

(bak in mainland only yesterday!)
well, i remember, dr.hari narrated this incident to me way back in 2001,it was my first visit to the place of the doctor couple whom i knew through emails only until then! hey hariettan you should have also included in the post the episode of your meeting with income tax commissioner(?) mr.kuriakose(?) as recommended by dasettan ;-)

we cannot really say whether it is correct or not when we write a malayalam word using english alphabets; malayalam can enjoy the luxury of having double the alphabets what english really possess!

harimohan said...

dear raju
tks and welcome back
awaited your comments specially for this post

SHEREEF said...

Dear Dr. Hari,

My name is Mohamed Shereef, one of the best admirer's of Dasettan. I am working with ADGAS in Abu Dhabi. I have just came through your candid moments with Dasettan and I have been keen to go through it since most of the days I used to go through his news site. The discription of your moments are appealing and your initiative for the special needs is wonderful and may God revard for your sincere efforts. I sing well and I wish to meet you some day at our leisure. Just I want to know, if you have any idea of the songs of Yesudas in the hindi film, Tanzan, his song 'Kattodum Kannippadam' in Malayam movie "Minda Poochakkum Kalyanam" and the song 'pushyaraga mothiramittoru' film I don't know. Please contact me on my mobile 050-5379694.

Thanks and regards
Mohamed Shereef

harimohan said...

dear shareef,
will call you ,look at how a blog brings people with same taste together

pranoob said...

Hi Dr.,
Being a proud devotee of dasettan, iam bubbling with joy and ecstasy when i came to know abt that he's influential not only in kerala but across the world. Is it true that his songs are being used for treatment in John hopkins hosp, USA?
Cheers for ur comment

harimohan said...

Tks pranoob

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