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Anthology: Ten Years of TQ – Suresh Chandvankar

Voices in Time and Space, The Lost Recordings of Kesarbai Kerkar  Bombay, 2010.  I was staying in a flat in Versova and taking the train daily to different corners of that endless city. Sometimes it felt like the train was going backward in time. I had read an article online about this man, Suresh Chandvankar, who had amassed over 10,000 records in his flat. An entire history of Indian recorded music. A photo in the article showed his shelves reaching up to the ceiling with shellac 78s, 45s, puzzle-discs, and on into the darkness of time and space. He was also the secretary of the Society for Indian Record Collectors, which sounded almost colonial. Somewhere I got a hold of his phone number and rang him up. He invited me and … [Read more...]

Lyricist Gandhiji – Revisited

September 20, 2012. ‘Ganesh’ festival holiday. – My wife and I set out for a short visit to Ahmadabad. As this was our first time, visits to Akshardham temple and Sabarmati ashram were the top priorities. We thought Akshardham temple a very nice place but it was quite hot outside as we set out towards Sabarmati. Our driver too was quite restless due to this unusual heat. As we approached the town, suddenly the atmosphere changed with clouds and a real transfer scene. The sky above was full with storming black clouds getting ready to pour anytime. Just before this visit, I had read a nice book ‘Meera and Mahatma’ by Sudheer Kakkar. It had many pages describing this sacred place. It had been an ideal laboratory for preparing … [Read more...]

Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘Spiritual Message’ Turns 80

The Nanga Fakir's Speech, 1931 –  In 1888, when Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) arrived in England to study law, hardly anyone came to receive him at the port. He dressed like an average Englishman and went about his business in obscurity. In 1931 this same man arrived again in England to attend the Second Round Table Conference to broker peace between the British government and the Indian Independence Movement. This time huge crowds of people poured in the streets of London to have a glimpse of him, for he was dressed in a loincloth, like the poorest of Indians whom he came to represent. Hundreds would gather to listen to this “Nanga Fakir” (as Mr. Winston Churchill used to call him). The crowds were touched and influenced by the … [Read more...]