Thirty years prior, on January 12, 1992, it appeared to be that the throbbing rhythms of the universe had gone quiet for eternity. On this date, Kumar Gandharva drew his final gasp. We are yet to understand the full proportion of this misfortune or take full load of his heritage. One of the potential gains of living in our age is the exceptional accessibility of the recorded file. At the point when we were understudies in school it was difficult to get to in excess of a couple of stock accounts. Any individual who approached uncommon or private accounts turned into our closest companion. His Kabir accounts (the one oeuvre Kumarji was shipped off this world for) were, obviously, openly accessible and commonly known. Be that as it may, getting our hands on different tapes was unadulterated gold.
However, presently, because of recently delivered chronicles, his corpus comes into full view. The full scope of his nirguna bhajans, Marathi natya sangeet, even his staggeringly lively creations on common life and the seasons, all can be heard corresponding to one another. In different artistes, this over accessibility can be an obligation: You need to filter through, to get to the pinnacles. In Kumarji ‘s case, it has the contrary impact: Almost each recording appears to be a disclosure of another culmination, an alternate method of catching an eerie brilliance, and weaving his entire being, and our own, in a melodic current.’
The endeavor to quantify the misfortune or tradition of Kumarji appears to be thoroughly awkward for both functional and philosophical reasons. Much unnecessary ink has been spilled on issues that nearly appear irrelevant. The first is the subject of his advancement: His takeoffs from custom, almost certainly arousing a lot of shock for perfectionists who might need to decrease custom to simple show. Obviously, he was inventive, even progressive, in nearly all that he did. There is a cabin industry listing his developments: From the bol aalaps, the inconceivable utilization of short taans, the new bandishes. In any case, as he generally demanded, comparing development against custom is a not kidding botch.
A practice is more similar to an establishment on which more must be constructed; a punctuation is intended for extending language, not tightening it. The second is the consistent resistance between the society and the old style. It was generally expected said he made high old style famous (by leaving from show), and he made well known people traditional. All things considered, these categorisations, while valuable for a few pompous insightful purposes, appear to be practically contradictory to the peculiarity of how he treated the solidarity of the melodic experience he created.
The title of one strong arrangement of tributes to him, “Kaaljayi”, one who has vanquished time, is likely as able a title as one can give. Yet, vanquishing time doesn’t mean everlasting – a sort of fixity that rises above all motion. In his meetings, he generally seems to be eager with that sort of talk. He likewise had a specific sensitivity to the word regularly utilized regarding music, profound, as though it were one piece of life, not life itself. These are extremely enticing terms that we languidly use to secure us in the doubles he was continually attempting to disrupt.
His music has the extraordinary and blasting energy of the entire of creation throbbing through that association among sabda and raga that no one but he could deliver. He is uncommon in how much the bols of the bandish, or the sahitya, is critical to him and how much consideration he took to clarify them. Paying attention to Kumar Gandharva, it is hard to concur with the incomparable TM Krishna’s case in A Southern Music that in the melodic experience language is significant just as strong, not semantically; words must be considered as a melodic structure not a lovely structure. As it were, this is valid; after all it is the raga that shapes the structure and the melodic experience is open even without the phonetic importance. In any case, in Kumarji – what made every one of his accounts so excellent – the music was a vehicle for sound as well as significance. His specific accentuation in singing was additionally a vehicle for significance, not simply strong.
It is only difficult to comprehend the full force of that multitude of superb minutes in his singing without importance: The unstable “Oham Soham Baaja Baje/Trikuti Dham” or the erumpent, “Ganga Gangana” in his incredible Raga Shankara. Or on the other hand, significantly more wickedly, the bandish he made “Karan De Re Kachhu Lalla Re” (begging his baby child to allow him to work). Indeed, even the sound “jha” in jhini, is implied as solid, however to complement the impact of the signifying “jhini” has. You nearly get the feeling that it was the cautious conscious meshing of sound and implying that lifted Kumarji past the simple virtuosity of numerous extraordinary artistes. To guarantee this isn’t to keep the independence from getting music, or to lessen it to its significance. Yet, it is to get back to one main issue: Kumarji epitomizes the solidarity of structure, which means and being.
Kumarji generally recognized his obligation to the people customs, not only for the melodic structures they granted to him. In any case, similar to Tagore, taken in by the Baul vocalists, what the “society customs” offered was melodic structures to be formed, yet the solidarity of life and music. Singing or being in fellowship with a nirgun bhajan was not a question of simply significance or melodic structure: It was being in a non-connected lighthearted state. The immortality isn’t a feeling of the everlasting, it is only the feeling that no second is instrumental to whatever else, particularly what’s to come. As he once put it, “without having that sort of nature, you can’t advance that sort of (nirguna) voice. The voice needs to match the brain.”
A program declaration of the Indian State Broadcasting Service in the Indian Listener of June 7 1936 records Kumar Gandharva as a “kid wonder.” On August 15, 1947, as India acquired autonomy, assuming Raghava Menon is to be accepted, he was singing Raga Chandrakauns on radio. He then, at that point, combat with TB and lost his voice for an entire six years. When he took his final gasp, he had not just become probably the best artist ever, he had ostensibly turned into the most noteworthy place of Indian culture, encapsulating its structure, which means and even feeling of play. He made a world – free, far reaching and freeing, and agitating in the most unimaginable sense. As Madhu Limaye who paid attention to Kumarji in prison during the Emergency kept in touch with him, he provided us with a brief look at the mysterious vibrations of the universe. In any case, Kumarji would have grinned: “Yeh Khel Roop Ka/Khele Mahadhir. (This play of structures/plays the Mahadhir).”