This loss is personal in a very unique way… The carnatic music legend Dr. Balamurali Krishna passed away today. It is because of this maverick that I got my unique name. Most people know me as Bindu, but my full name is Bindumalini…. the name of a raaga that Dr. Balamurali Krishna created in the year I was born. My dad was a fan of Carnatic music and of Dr. Balamurali Krishna so he named me as Bindumalini. I have two other names that were also names of raagas created by Dr. Balamurali Krishna, Nayaki and Jayanthasri. Ofcourse there is controversy around the creation of raagas by him. Some say “Bindumalini” is just a rare raaga, but I like to think that Dr. Balamurali Krishna created it :).
There are just a handful of people who call me by my full name – the first to do that was my English teacher and my first guru in many ways, Vidyasagar Sir. He never called me Bindu and even now, everytime I call him, he would say my full name “Bindumalini”. Krishnan’s aunts were the next people to call me by my full name.
A fascinating memory is from 2008. Krishnan was working out of Bangalore and every weekend I would go to Bangalore. On one such flight, my fellow passenger, Mr. Madhavan, started chatting. I am usually antisocial on flights but Mr. Madhavan was a lot of fun to chat with. He had an unusual question as the first question – he asked me if I was from the civil services and when I said no, he said, I had that bearing. 🙂 I then told him that I missed that bus, only because I never wanted to be with the government, but I wish I had listened to good advise that I had got early in life. We spoke of books, yoga and many interesting topics. When he asked my name, I told him about being named after a carnatic raaga that was created by Dr. Balamurali Krishna. Well, the fascinating thing was, Mr. Madhavan had attended the first concert where Dr. Balamurali Krishna had sung a song based on the “Bindumalini” raaga !! What an amazing coincidence.
Last year when we attended the December music festival in Chennai, I had a deep urge to find out where Dr. Balamurali Krishna lived and I told Krishnan that we should go visit him and take a photograph with him. Well, I thought about it a few days back and today that possibility is gone. Another lifetime !
What an amazing personality Dr. Balamurali Krishna was … and what a voice. I can keep hearing him sing the Thyagaraja Pancharatna Kritis especially “Entharo Mahanubhavulu, anthariku vandanamu”.. Listen to it on this link – https://youtu.be/W6TeyBzP4KU. He was a genius and a rebel. Read about him on wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._Balamuralikrishna.
So his loss is personal in many ways, … and I doubt if he is going to rest in peace, he will sing in peace and may he be born again soon so we get to hear that magical voice all over again. The universe is humming a pleasant tune in tribute as a rare legend passes on….
Thank you Dr. BMK from BMK 🙂 God bless.