A tear rolled down my cheek - remembering Kishori Amonkar

Kishori Amonkar ( April 10, 1932 - April 3, 2017)

Kishori Amonkar, or Kishoritai, as she was fondly called, left for her heavenly abode on the 3rd of April, 2017. Beacons of light create a sense of darkness when they go away, though somewhere they do flicker still. She was taught music by her mother, Mogubai Kurdikar, and Anjanibai Malpekar. She always sang from her heart, her voice seasoned and her notes scintillating. I had gone to a few of her concerts held in Delhi, some held in Nehru Park in Chanakyapuri. And my grandmother once told me that a great singer had come to Nidhivan in Vrindavan and had sung for Bihariji for the Haridas Jayanti. I got hold of this album, which is still my prized possession – Mharo Pranam Banke Bihariji. I would listen to it several times, over and over again, as a child, and the bhajans stayed with me. I had a surgery and the album was my companion in the hospital, with me listening to Jao Nirmohiya. Recently, Kishoriji was in Delhi for the Sur-Sangam festival held at Kamani Auditorium, hosted by the Bhilwara group. And I was desperate to attend it. Kishoriji took a long time to warm up her throat with hot sips of water, but finally, when she was able to sing, the alaaps were, as always, amazing. But at the time, I did not know that it would be her last concert. When a legend passes away, admirers lose a part of their being. But those bhajans will always stay with me.