Karnataka town mourns loss of its famous sonJanuary 24th, 2011 - 7:39 pm ICT by IANS
Gadag (Karnataka) Jan 24 (IANS) People of this north Karnataka town, where Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was born, were in mourning Monday, having lost their famous son who ran away from home at age 11 in search of ‘guru’ from whom he would learn Hindustani classical music.A place called Ron near Gadag town, part of Dharwad district where Joshi was born Feb 14, 1922, was expecting the worst since news came of the eminent vocalist being hospitalized Dec 31 in a private hospital in Pune in neighbouring Maharashtra.
Gadag, now a district some 340 km from Bangalore, has fond memories of the boy who grew to become a legend, enthralling millions across India and the world with his mastery over both classical music and ‘bhajans’.
As a boy, Bhimsen would be enthralled by music - spending hours listening to ‘bhajans’ at temples and the prayer from a mosque near his house.
His father Gururaj Joshi was a school teacher and grandfather Bhimacharya Joshi was a noted musician. Bhimsen Joshi’s mother would sing ‘bhajans’ for him.
Angry over not getting ghee with his meal one day, Bhimsen Joshi ran away at the age of 11. That was also in search of ‘gurus’ to learn music from.
The journey, several times ticketless, took him to Gwalior, Lucknow, Kolkata, Jalandhar and back to Kundagol, near his hometown - enriching his life and music, and taking him to the pinnacle of the country’s pride.
The Karnataka government declared a day’s mourning Monday for the legendary vocalist’s death.
Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa flew to Pune to pay his last respects and state Law Minister S. Suresh Kumar said the state government will decide on steps to ensure that the memory of doyen of Kirana Gharana lives on.
Governor H.R. Bhardwaj and several ministers also expressed deep grief over Joshi’s passing away.
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