Friday, March 27

New age kirtankars

There are few news that truly surprise you. And there is nothing about yoga and goras that surprises me anymore. But I came across a correction in NYT for an article titled "Yoga Enthusiasts Hear the Call of Kirtan" and I was almost stupefied. I immediately pictured the traditional kirtankars you find in temples across India. The performances might differ according to region, but the basic idea remains the same. Here it was a gora kirtankar singing.

Of course to me the image is that out of a Sant Tukaram film. For years Marathi films had at least one Kirtan sequence. They had some of the best poetry and music, rendered in a soulful voice that can touch even someone as non-religious as me. I remembered a couple of live Kirtans I have attended and their capacity to move you. And my grandfather who began as a kirtankar and they say he was one of the best there was. Today I would give a million dollars to hear my grandfather sing again!

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