Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tonight I Can Write The Saddest Lines.. ~ Pablo Neruda

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, 'The night is starry and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

~ Pablo Neruda 

(Translated by W. S. Merwin)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pandit Ravi Shankar : Oh Man, What A Life!

Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury
(B. 1920)

The Young Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar posing as an old man along with his legendary brother Uday Shankar in a Bhil Dance (1937)

He moves on the stage like a semi-divine being. Believe me, there are still some beautiful things left in this world..

~ James Joyce on Uday Shankar

My dada (Uday Shankar) was the first one to direct my attention towards stagecraft, showmanship, manners and discipline on the stage. And yes, his insatiable passion for women and sex influenced me greatly in my life too!

~ Ravi Shankar, in his autobiography, Raga Mala

Baba always said that music is not meant for commercial purpose. Music is like worshipping, and through music you worship God. However, like many other people's, mine is an imperfect quest... We can never count on quite getting there..

~ Ravi Shankar, in his autobiography, Raga Mala

Without Ravi, I would have ended up a boring old fart. Some people may still say I'm a boring old fart, but atleast my life was enhanced and given much more depth..

~ George Harrison

Norah Jones (b.1979) with her sister 
Anoushka Shankar Wright (b.1982)

I remember when I found out that John Coltrane had come to my Dad once to study... That impressed me at the time, more than the George Harrison thing just because I was such a jazz nerd.

~ Norah Jones

I felt I could be in love with different women in diferent places. It was like having a girl in every port - and sometimes there was more than one!

~ Ravi Shankar, in his autobiography, Raga Mala

My love life now evokes in me is a mixed feeling, you know. I am grateful for everything that I got, but I had to pay for it with pain and torture. Many of my lady loves are now dead and gone. A couple of them I still meet and try and be friendly with. With some, of course, things are not good..

~ Ravi Shankar

Her instant reaction was one of shock heart wrenching loss. But soon it gave way to tears. I let her sob hard in the hope that it would offer her natural catharsis..

~ Rooshi Kumar Pandya, present husband of the 83 year old Annapurna Devi, one among the estranged wives of Ravi Shankar

He was 58 when we got married and told me he couldn't change. I realised I was too much in love... I really couldn't care. Even if he gave me a few days in a year, I was fine. That experience would help me tide over a whole year. He was a gypsy. I wanted to give him the home he never had.. 

~ Sukanya Shankar

When I am gone, don't wait too long to be born again for me..

~ Ravi Shankar to Shukanya Shankar