Tuesday, August 22, 2006


From a news report:
Varanasi: Thousands bid an emotional farewell to shehnai maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan whose mortal remains were laid to rest at the Karbala-Fatamaan burial ground in Varanasi.
Men of the 1/11 Gorkha battalion lowered their muffled weapons as a mark of respect to the departed soul. The troops saluted the Bharat Ratna awardee by firing 36 blank rounds in the air even as buglers paid the Last Post. Before the burial, a majlis was held at the grounds in which prayers were offered for the peace of the departed soul. The burial, incidentally, took place under a neem tree just by the side of the place where Khan Saheb used to sit and play the shehnai during the 5th and 8th day of Moharram. Earlier, in the evening, people had queued up all along the two-kilometre road through which he had gone to express his 'Aasu Ka Nazrana' by playing shehnai during the 5th and 8th day of Moharra

Oh life, who are you? You blow through the passages of the shehnai in glorious rhythm. Your tune ushers in the nation's independence, your melody brings men and women together in wedlock. A neem tree was your companion for many years, and while the world was still waking up to your genius, the leaves of the neem were dancing in an unchained melody. Now that you are in some other world, the tree grieves, much as the parents who left you long ago would have. With every riffle shot, the neem tree cries tears of leaves, for its loyal son is no more. As is said; "अपने ही पानी मे घुल जाना बर्फ का मुकद्दर होता है।"