Pravin Gandhi’s blog, dedicated to right-brain thinking

I am starting a NEW blog, dedicated to right-brain thinking i.e. music, dance, poetry, art, philosophy and everything fine.

I dedicate this blog to Krishna, the patron of music, dance, decoration, love and everything that is beautiful. Krishna is also an icon of action and wisdom. He is my idol – he is both, a left-brain and a right-brain person – like I try to be. Likewise, Dev Anand and Sachin Tendulkar are my other idols.

Krishna is India’s most secular icon: The song “Man Tadpat Hari Darshan Ko Aaj”, a soulful rendition of virah, the sweet pain of separation, in raag Maalkaus, one of the sweetest Indian raga was sung by Mohammed Rafi and composed by Naushad. The Muslim singer-composer come together to make a “Madhuban mein Raadhika naache re, Girdhar Ki Muralia baaje re”, a happy dance number with rising tempo. Lagaan’s “Madhuban Me Jo” is written by today’s noted lyricist Javed Akhtar, depicting a jealous Radha who would like Krishna to be exclusively hers and his flute to play exclusively for her.  It was a Muslim Rahi Masson Raza who wrote the dialogues for the TV serial of the epic Mahabharat.

Who cannot marvel at the flirtatiously mischievious mood, combined with deft use of a Hindi dialect, created by “Kankariya mohe maari, Gagariya fore daari.. mori naajuk kalaiyya marod gayo re… ”.

My favourite poem is one by the Gujarati poet-devotee Narsimha Mehta, who composed this poem in raag Malhaar, a raaga which evokes the mood of a romantic rainy day:

Mehulo gaaje ne Maadhav naache
Rumjum vaagaye.. ey pay ghughardi

Roughly translated, “It rains with thunder and Krishna dances, the anklets ring rumjum”. The beat is on the underlined text. It evokes the romance and rhythm of rain and makes the listener want to sway with the beat.

Krishna is lord of Decoration and he is always nattily dressed and decorated; sets are elaborately decorated with flowers, fountains, boats, swings, animals and birds, exemplifying love for flora and fauna. A person at the harmonium sings softly in a raga appropriate to the season of the year and time of day.

Krishna is a man of action. He preaches not fatalism, renunciation or repentance, but celebration of life and partaking of everything that’s beautiful and fine in this world. He exhorts people to action. His wisdom is practical, action-oriented  rather than despondent.

Dev Anand, the indefatigable, ever-green romantic, is my other idol. When Hindi cinema was dominated, vice-like by tragedy king Dilip Kumar and rich-vs-poor socialist Raj Kapoor, the arrival of Dev Anand caught the fancy of the youth by showing that the hero wins and gets the girl in the end, instead of dying. Handsome looks and dashing style appealed to the aspirations of the youth brought up on a diet of sadness. I was there at the moment of transition of Indian mind-set  from defeatist-tragedy loving to the aspirational, romantic. As a ten-year-old, preparing to go to school,  I was singing “Jab Pyaar Kisi Se Hota Hai” when my father slapped me hard, saying “Pyaar waali, go to school“. (note the use of feminine “waali“, implying that it is effeminate – and I was too small – to talk of pyaar). Dev Anand has become my idol since then.

Sachin Tendulkar is my last idol. Like Krishna, he lets his work speaks for itself. He does his work like a Karma-Yogi, and success and fame chase him.