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Jai Ho

June 12, 2010-AR Rahman-Jai Ho Concert-The Journey Home

Yours truly scoured the net like a possessed maniac trying to scupper a good deal for the ARR concert after having lost the battle to net a 45$ ticket to eager Gujjus and even more enthu Tams. So a week prior to the concert, I trooped into the Indian store for my usual fill of frozen foods, given that my culinary skills aren’t going to give me a chance to meet either Nigella Lawson or her better half Charles Saatchi!!!The entrance to the store is a notice board of sorts with offers of tuitions for Calculus to Mehndi/Henna classes!!and tucked away amidst all this was a notice for the sale of 4 ARR tickets for 200 $..turns out that there was only one ticket left and in a true sense of Gujju ingenuity, I had to pay a markup of 15$ for the tickets (Sigh!!)

Spent the entire week salivating over the prospects of listening to the thumping bass line of the title track from Dil Se..the sweet sounds of the shehnai punctuating ‘Ye Jo Desh hai tera’ from Swades..the original disco tamizh song “Fanaa”..the carnivalsque ‘Oh La la la’..the oomph of Chandralekha..the breezy intensity of Pachai Nirame..
So D day arrives..and I reached Atlantic City(after a bout of amnesia, where I forgot the concert tickets and had to take a bus/train/bus and land up at the venue!!)..Atlantic City is a mini Vegas with Caesar’s/Bally’s/Trump Taj Mahal etc promising untold riches and a wickedly good time to one and sundry..the concert demographics were fairly reflective of the overall Indian population in the US..Gujju bhais/behens, Tambrams and Gultis..and given that sidvee had informed me that the opener at the Long Island, NYC concert the previous night was “Oruvan Oruvan Mudraali” from Muthu, the prospect of an attakasam show was on the cards..

The concert opener was a maha disappointment..my major grouse with the concert as a whole was the over dependence on songs from Slum Dog Millionaire and also the fact that no song was retained in its original form and was tweaked to a great extent to suit Western sensibilities, which I find hard to fathom given that the Firang population was negligible..so the opener was “Oh Saaya” and ARR arose from the middle of the stage and it turns out has transformed into quite a performer..from the time he was the perennially long haired and monosyllabic artiste to someone who seems quite at ease on stage..

This was followed by one of the worshtest songs from Sivaji rendered by Vijay Prakash who is a really good singer..the concert alternated between fast paced and reflective songs..so this set was followed by the title track from Swades, which surprisingly was retained in its original format and had ARR in top form..and the song did bring back memories of home in a nice sort of way, without getting too nostalgic about mustard fields or other “mango pickle” imagery as Nilanajana Roy would term it..the first tamil song which my ears perked upto occurred when I heard the familiar Urdu word “Marhaba” and the opening bass line of “Take it easy, Urvashi” kicked in..but, the song got buggered with an overlay of Taxi Taxi from Sakaratti, which for some strange reason is a song which lots of people like..even on repeat listen I don’t seem particularly enthused by it, inspite of Benny Dayal being on vocals..so Urvashi got the boot and was overshadowed by Taxi Taxi..so my initial enthusiasm fizzled away..

Given that the Concert was titled ‘The Journey Back Home’, the overall theme of the show veered towards spirituality and patriotism..so Hariharan comes in and performs Tamizha Tamizha from Roja with absolute brilliance and is joined by Vijay Prakash, Neetu Mohan (of Viva fame and ARR’s latest find), Alphons Joseph of Aaromale fame from VTV and Benny Dayal..pretty rousing I must admit

And then..there it was, the crowning glory of the concert for me personally..the rip roaring title track from Dil Se..but again, swalpa disappointing because he didn’t begin with the soaring vocals as the song originally begins..but took it from the chorus..on an overall basis, ARR didn’t reach out to high tones in any of the songs..but, it felt good and brought back fond memories of watching it with Sumanth in a an empty Swagath theatre..Dil Se happened to be the only Mani Rathnam movie which would be remembered more for its songs than the actual film, which formed the concluding part of his terrorism related trilogy-Roja and Bombay being the other two..
The concluding part of the concert had a very interesting bit...where ARR performed a few songs on his Yamaha piano..it’s surprising that many of today’s music directors don’t know how to play a music instrument with any degree of virtuosity and mostly depend on a console to make music (Monkeys on typewriters too can belt out Shakespeare plays)..so there was a VTV piano interlude which was splendid and then “Hello Mr Edhurkatchi” from Iruvar which has a nice jazz opening with furious piano riffs,quite a track when it released in 1996, given that the movie as a whole is about MGR and Karunanidhi’s famous rivalry..also, Bombay’s riveting theme song was also performed with Navin on flute and a cello and violin lending support..I remember listening to that song being used in a Danone commercial when they used to sponsor the French football team (that’s my only contribution to this football WC)..the track still retains its majesty and listening to it is a humbling experience..

The end was a sort of Best of ARR-circa 2000 medley, with all the singers singing a few lines of songs post 2000..so there was Kandukondain Kandukondain, Zubeidaa, Guru and a few other numbers ..and ARR then took centre stage and was dressed in pristine white with his harmonium in tow and sung “Khwaja” from Delhi 6 with utmost devotion and a strange aura seemed to have formed around him and it was magical..the sets and the music coalesced into something magical..and Vande Mataram was the last track..again, no high pitched notes, and was not the belligerent and sock-you-in –the-solar plexus-kind of sound which I remember the song was when it released in 1997 (incidentally, Junoon released their ground breaking album “Sayonee”, the same year)

So..thats all folks..hope the ARR concert gives me an impetus to blog more often

Ps: Harris Jayaraj concert on July 5 close to my digs..:)

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An Ode to an Antipodean

Its 6am down under,
I am furtively glancing at the dials of my watch searching for her
The slow and dizzying hum of the electric fan
The whirring sound of the computer
The multi coloured hues of the modem
A strange and sublime madness engulfing a hazy horizon
And then she appears

A twinkle in her eye that signals many explosions in the sky
Patamboochis* play hide and seek with my groggy vision
And we discuss dreary tamizh songs
A light and steady drizzle outside adds to the ethereal feeling
Cliches are rattled off with amazing alacrity
Epicurean fantasies are discussed ad nausea um
Marghazhi Maasam kutcheris involving cerebral musicians
Quiet and introspective places to walk in Bangalore
Iyer weddings to gatecrash into
Manja pai maamas and Nalli maamis
Silicon Valley dreams
Paraapu Usili and Mor Kozhambhu
Derivative instruments
Bean counters
Insomniacs
Engaging weekends
Kurosawa movies


And then technology deceives us with its trickery
And it all ends
Unfulfilled desires and longings stay locked within the dark recesses of time


*Patamboochis-Butterflies
Marghazhi Maasam-Auspicious period between December and January celebrating the arts
Manja pai maamas-Avuncular mamas clutching a yellow satchel and pulling out things in a very Houdinisque way and commonly seen being at the centre of all activities at weddings
Nalli maamis-Self explanatory!!!

With a Little Help from my friends

If I were to genuflect at the altar of an Indian musician after L Shankar, my vote would definitely go for Prasanna(or Guitar Prasanna as he is referred to by avuncular 'Maama's' during the Marghazi Maasam concerts!!!). This blog has its genesis in the Prasanna and friends concert at Bengaluru's newest swanky jazz club, B Flat.

I landed up with a friend of mine having braved treacherous roads, immobile cows and general commuter apathy. India's greatest invention’ Indian Stretchable time' reared its benevolent head, and proceedings began at 845ish, having been scheduled to duly commence at 8pm. Before the concert began, Prasanna was milling around the sidelines and was generally being chatty. Yours truly, had the glazed and dreamy look which often accompanies fanboyism. After complimenting the man on the sheer brilliance of EGL, I gathered from him that his next album explores the relationship between Chess and Music, which made me smack my lips in earnest anticipation. Also, met Keith Peters, who is the Indian Jaco Pastorius sans the flowing locks.

The concert was divided into four phases. Part I had Prasanna jamming with Keith Peters and Rajeev Rajagopal of TAAQ on drums. The first number was titled '31' and was a smooth composition with a nice throbbing bass line, and the leitmotif of the song was a simple chord progression which followed the standard crest and trough pattern which usually accompany an RTP(Raagam Taanam Pallavi). Interestingly, the song was interspersed with a snatch of 'Layla' and 'Bad', which was met with knowing approval by the audience(and I think both these songs are based in Raga Madhyamvati!!!)

After a couple of extended improvisations, Prasanna started of with Kalyani Connection, from EGL. Kudos to Rajeev for having the temerity to play with a 16 beat cycle, which is not a common phenomena. I have always been partial to Raga Kalyani since I started to play the violin. Kalyani begins the second half of the 72 Raga cycle, and has an off chord/discordant 'Madhyama'("Ma") note which to this day gives me goose pimples. Unlike the studio version, this version was a bit slow, as a result of which, the song seemed to have this celestial feeling, with the gamakams adding to the pizzazz of the song.

The finale of the first set was a number called 'Pot belly Blues', which is a reference to the practice of Ghatam vidwans to unbutton their shirts, and play the pot on their belly!!! To my knowledge, the genial Vikku Vinayagram started this practice, which is accepted norm nowadays. It's the Carnatic equivalent of Jim Morrison's microphone yielding antics or Jimi Hendrix's 'Agni Pariksha'aka the guitar burning ritual. Nice adroit drumming and a grungy jam in the form of a Sawaal Jawaab signaled the end of Phase 1.

Phase 2 was a pure jazz jam between Morning Raga composer Amit Heri and Prasanna. I am not very clued into the intricacies of jazz and feign ignorance; however, the composition was a hark back to the Golden age of jazz and had a very otherworldly feel to it.

Phase 3 had TAAQ fronted by Bruce Lee Mani and accompanied by Rhuzde David on Bass and Rajeev on drums, playing a composition which was performed by Prasanna and TAAQ at the Java Jam held at Java, Indonesia last month. Though the song has a nice riff, it was a bit of a dampener.

Phase 4 kicked off with Rhuzde performing one of his early compositions 'Falling' on the acoustic guitar. Very soulful, with Prasanna playing a supporting role for the only time during the course of the evening!!!

The finale, inspite of requests for ‘Ragabop’, was a jam with Aarti Rao who announced that the song was a dedication to a musician who passed away recently. Prasanna quipped and asked whether she was referring to DK Pattamal, and the joke was lost on many in the audience.

Tailpiece: A car had blocked the entrance to B Flat, and despite repeated requests to clear the car, it was to no avail. Prasanna then played 'Baby, You can Drive My car' from my favourite Beatles album 'Rubber Soul'.

Also, Prasanna bobs his head while head banging ala Sri Jimi, which was kinda surreal, especially, when he did his circular head banging ritual while belting out intricate gamakams which were flying off the fretwork.

Will post videos off the concert shortly

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The seed drill works!!!

In the shuffling madness, I managed to actually go for the Jethrotull+Anoushka Shankar concert. After a day of slaving over the keyboard, and doing random spreadsheet callisthenic’s, I reached Palace Grounds right in time for the concert. The advantage of going for a nondescript band like Tull, is that the venue is not populated by clods who request for covers of Limp Bizkit or Metallica. The crowd seemed knowledgeable and looked like Woodstock 69's lost children.

The concert was divided into three phases, with Anoushka opening the concert with her Hindustani classic ensemble. The first rendition was in Rag Jog, which is an evening Rag. She was ably supported by local lad Ravichandra Kulur on the flute, and seasoned tabla maestro Tanmay Bose. The composition had a nice leitmotif, and quite a catchy tune. Considering the pleasant weather, it was quite an apt composition and evoked memories of Bangalore of yore.

The next composition was in Rag Pancham Singhada, which is a composition of her father Pt Ravi Shankar, whom she wryly asked if many people in the audience had heard off. This piece was a nice, romantic ballad, with a fine Sawaal-jawab [exchange of rhythmic patterns, in sync with the tala(i.e., the beat pattern)] between the tabla and the flute.

After a 5 minute break, Tull roared onto stage, with fronstman and folk hero Ian Anderson prancing around in his trademark black bandanna, and opening with 'My Sunday Feeling’, from their first album, This Was. During the course of the song, I was amazed at the sheer versatility of the song, as Anderson effortlessly flitted between playing on the flute and singing. The highlight of the song was my first sighting of the famous cross legged stance, which almost mirrors MSD's initial stance, before his famous swivel shot, where he furiously whips the ball, with a devilish turn of the wrists(Apologies for the hyperbole, too much of Cricinfo, in between breaks, does this to you)

The opening bars of 'Living in the Past’; brought back fond memories of listening to Tull, during my early college days. This was one of those songs, which instantaneously hooked me on to Tull, besides being a fine tune to whistle, while making periodic visits to the loo. This song was followed by Thick as a Brick, from the eponymous album. An abridged version of this song was performed, as the actual song is 26 odd minutes long. This song was part of a phase, when Tull was trying to experiment with prog rock aka Yes, Rush. The album was a nice farce, with a fictional tale being drummed up of the album having been conceived by a 12 year kid called Gerald Bostock. Besides, during those periodic trips to Habitat with Santosh, I would spend some time drooling over the album cover, which also had a Connect the dots farce forming a part of the inner liner notes (and in case you are interested in knowing, the dots connect to a duck).

The next song was one of those moments, where the collective might of the audience, was finally heard. Martin Barre pounded that most guttural of riffs ever known in rock history, and Aqualung was finally upon us. The main parts of the song, were performed in a mono sound, which was actually reminiscent of the original, where Anderson, wanted to give the song an orchestral feeling, similar to what Zep were trying on their fourth untitled album. Yours truly was crooning away, much to the chagrin of the others in the audience, but i continued to bellow away, until the sound of the security folks making their displeasure felt, piped me down.

Before commencing the next song, Anderson wished Mick Jagger on his birthday, and was full of praise for his energy on stage. Few expected him to launch into 'Too Old to Rock and Roll, too young to die'. It was one of those moments, which pretty much summed up Tull to me. The usual brand of whimsical humour was in dispersed with some great music. They have always come across to me as an eccentric band, fronted by the inimitable Anderson, whose tongue-in cheek humour reminds me of that great English cricket commentator Brian Johnston. Tull have never been a great commercial success, in the league of the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Zeppelin, but they have managed to carry on doing what they are best at, without compromising on their style of performing or swaying to the interests of record labels. In other words, apart from a brief phase, when they dabbled with Prog Rock, they haven’t really alienated the hardcore Tull fans.

The last song before the final set between Tull and Shankar was 'A New Day yesterday'. The song saw some adroit drumming by Doanne Perry ably supported by David Goodier on Bass, who also doubled up in the Glockenspiel and John O Hara on the keyboards, who also displayed his mastery over the Harmonium.

The final set was a mutual arrangement between Shankar and Tull, where they each performed the other’s songs. The first song was titled`'Tea with Anoushka', and was very bland and lacked bite. This was followed by a very melodic piece called 'Celtic Cradle' which incidentally appears on Anderson's early solo effort 'Divinities', which was a nod to Eastern mysticism etc. Shankar admirably performed, and came across as a very industrious sort of musician, who is not a musical genius, but is willing to work hard and gain credibility by dint of sheer hard work. She is not in the same league as L Shankar, or U Srinivas, who are in my opinion, masters of effortlessly turning a phrase of music on its head, and making it sound ethereal.

Johann Sebastian Bach is remembered by classic rock aficionados for his famous piece ' Bouree' which Anderson termed as being degenerated into Cocktail jazz by Tull. Anoushka does a nice spiffy job, of underplaying the tones, in a non-Hindustani mould, and efficiently weaving her way through the notes. David Goodier and Martin Barre performed the mid-sections of the song particularly well. All in all, it was a nice tight set.

After this song, there was an abrupt exit from the stage en masse. After the magic of ‘Bouree’, the audience was bargaining for 'Songs from the Wood', ‘Budapest’ and ‘Rumble in the Jungle’. After a tantalizing few minutes, Anderson appeared on stage bearing his trademark impish grin, followed by the rest of the band. I heard the opening bars of Locomotive Breath on Anoushka's sitar, and it sounded too good to be true. We are all familiar with that famous opening piano interlude, before the song actually begins. Listening to the opening bars on the sitar, reminded me of the Channel`[V]' ad, where ‘Sweet Child of mine’ was rendered ala Hindustani style. The song also had Ravichandra Kulur matching Anderson step for step. The audience, in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks, was displaying renewed fervor, and was supporting 'Namma Huduga', and cries of Bhale and Shabash rent the air.

The concert ended with 'Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a Wonderful World'. His raspy voice was a fitting finale to a grand carnival of music.

PS: Have recorded snippets of all the songs. If someone can help me with uploading them, do let me know.




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Tull meets Annachi

I thought Tamil music was restricted to the singular genius of AR Rahman. However, when I chanced upon this brilliant song called 'Kannugal Irundhal' from Subramaniapuram, Aleister Crawley's famous line"Forgive him Lord, for he does not know, what he says' felt true. The song is very folksy ala Jethrotull, and has a very nice rhythmic pattern, with an orchestral crest and trough alternating at various phases of the song. The delicate trills of the flute are beautifully segued into the main chorus, which has a high hummable quotient(for lack of a suitable word!!!).

The movie, incidentally, has been garnering some rave reviews for its celebration of the spirit that had rebels shouting hoarse in the 1980's under a banner called 'Nothing' To quote a review I read in this Sunday's Indian Express.

'The movie is a celebration of the embarassment that the first post-independence generation( the 'Midnight Children') felt about its parents,soaked in the fantasy of nationalism and mixed with garbled notions of Indian/Hindu tradition. It is a celebration of a rasa called Bhibatsa or'Disgust' .

Very interesting thought, considering the fact that at the other end of the spectrum,we have 'Illai Thalapathi' Vijay, churning out the same old tripe, with the only difference, being restricted to the pattern of the 16 beat kuthu( or tappanguttu as the ulsoor boys would say it') song, which is as essential to a Vijay film, as lemon pickle is to creamy white curd rice.

The video is below. And the music is by James Vasanthan, for those interested in knowing.

TN Krishnan Concert

Attended the TN Krishnan-Viji Krishnan violin concert on Sunday at Fort High School Grounds as a part of the Ram Navami festival. Incidentally, TN Krishnan was awarded the annual KV Narayanaswamy Rao Memorial (named after the founder of the festival). Interestingly, the first recipient of this award was MS Subbulaxmi, and TN Krishnan was the eight recipient, and in a brilliant quirk of fate, responded that he was the higher Shadja (Sa)(8th note in the octave scale) to receive it as against MS being the first!!!.

The concert began in customary fashion, with the traditional ‘Vatapi Ganapathim’ in Ragam Hamsadwani. The highlight of this rendition was the elaborate neraval during the charanam, where TN and Viji had a very interesting exchange ably assisted by the percussionists. There was this small passage of play, where, TN and Viji were playing off each other, which was I guess a meeting of two traditions. TN being schooled in the old school and Viji being a part of Gen Next of Carnatic Music,

There was also some tender fatherly admonition by TN, during certain parts of the concert, which were accepted graciously by Viji. I was particularly pleased to watch TN, as it completes the pantheon of old school violinists whom I have had the pleasure of watching. The only people missing are N Rajam and L Shankar (who continues to elude yours truly)

The RTP in Ritigowlai was the highlight of the concert, with beautiful swara alapana. TN, in fact exploited every nuance of this fine Ragam (okay, I am biased towards Ragams which are based in Kharaharapriya!!!).

The Thani Avartanam was crisp, and was done neatly. As an aside, a familiar grouse I have with Carnatic musicians who were a part of the Golden Age of Carnatic music, are that they do not explain the Ragams they are performing, or the nuances of the Ragam etc. This is a very disturbing trend, because, it makes listening to music an elitist experience, as only hardcore connoisseurs of Carnatic would be able to identify the myriad Ragams that exist. Besides, there is a certain degree of snobbery involved, because, on listening to the recordings of these artistes, held outside India, there is an effort made to inform the Western audiences of what an RTP is, besides, explaining the raga, the fundaes behind the name etc. In India, it is felt that by doing the same, it would be taken as an affront to the audiences. U Srinivas and also Ganesh-Kumaresh, however, have bucked this trend, and make it a point to explain the Ragams as also the scale.

Tailpiece: An important lesson to take way from these artistes is the humility with which they carry themselves. Humility as a virtue is something we tend to forget in today’s Dog eat Dog world, but it is a very important ingredient in defining a person.
Answer: Both take 3 minutes to start!!!

I thought of the joke, while watching Jaffer at the Royal Challengers vs Chennai Super Kings match. Few interesting points on the games as a whole:

• Jaffar showed the way for the rest of the old brigade, read Rahul, Laxman and Co, on how to maximize your innate skills in a T20 format. Jaffer was wristy, and played to his strengths. The standout shot was his flick off Oram to the leg side boundary. Vintage Ranjitsinghji kind of stroke!!

• Watching Hayden and Parthiv Patel open the innings, reminded me of my early quizzing days with Santosh in college!!!

• The cheerleaders were dancing with increased fervor to the song’Huttidare Kannada nadi nalla huttibekku’. It then struck me that the World is truly Flat!!

• Chennai Super Kings’ official jersey colour is the same as the earlier Australian team jersey colour, ie, Canary yellow. We didn’t crack this question at Odyssey 2008.

• Dhoni is related to Jethrotull, looking at his agricultural heaves. The savagery reminded me of the way he tamed Dave Mohammad of the West Indies, during India‘s tour in 2004.

• Royal Challengers have won only a single game so far. It’s quite apt that Vijay Mallya owns them considering the fact that McDowell’s’ tag line is ‘Mera No 1’, which is pretty much the number of games that they have won!!

Was quite pleased that CSK won, considering the fact that RC were cruising at one point of time. Dhoni showed his astute captaincy skills, and managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. RC must be kicking themselves for having squandered a golden opportunity.

Tail piece: Arthur Wood, the Yorkshire wicketkeeper, actually said to left-arm spinner Hedley Verity (after South Africa's Jock Cameron had hit him for 30 in one over): "Go on Hedley, you've got him in two minds. He doesn't know whether to hit you for four or six."?

Thoughts on T20 cricket

Amidst all the hype and hoopla revolving around T20,I thought that it is an opportune moment to revisit Gideon Haigh's riveting opinion on the prospects of T20 cricket. I have extracted a brief capsule, which I think is a fine piece of cricket writing


The game's skills, meanwhile, have been massively rationalised. What we see in the main is not so much batting as hitting, not so much bowling as conveying. The batsman is assessed by the change his strokes are leaving out of six; the bowler is like the fall guy in a comic routine stoically awaiting the inevitable custard pie. For sure, the players are stars, personalities, megabuck entertainers. But to be great under such circumstances is next to impossible. The game is neither big nor deep enough. No thespian has achieved greatness from a career of sketches; no old master won admiration for a skill at silhouettes. Cricket has traditionally made welcome a wonderful variety of capabilities and temperaments. The swashbuckler will have his day, but likewise the gritty opening batsman, the middle-order nurdler, the doughty tailender; likewise, there are days that favour the purveyor of outswing, googlies, subtle left-arm slows. From the combination of 20 overs a side, flat pitches, white balls, and 70m boundaries, however, emerges what sort of cricketer? (In fact, you begin wondering which great past players would have found in Twenty20 a welcoming home. Kapil Dev, for sure. Maybe Sunil Gavaskar, when not in one of his obdurate moods. But can you see BS Chandrashekhar, Bishan Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna? Given the choice, would you select Gundappa Viswanath and Sanjay Manjrekar, or Sandeep Patil and Chandrakant Pandit?)

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Thoughts on cricket

Jack Fingleton on Harold Larwood: I, for one, will never cease to sing Larwood's praises as a bowler...One could tell his art by his run to the wickets. It was a poem of athletic grace, as each muscle gave over to the other with perfect balance and the utmost power. He began his long run slowly, this splendidly proportioned athlete, like a sprinter unleashed for a hundred yards dash. His legs and arms pistoned up his speed, and as he neared the wickets he was in very truth like the Flying Scotsman thundering through an east coast station...
The first time I was in runs with Larwood bowling I was watching, naturally, the batsman at the other end as Larwood ran up. Just as Larwood approached the crease I heard a loud scraping sound and the thought flashed across my mind that Larwood had fallen. He had not. A few yeards from the crease he gathered himself up and hurled all his force down onto a stiff right leg which skidded along the ground for some feet. How his muscles and bones stood this terrific test over the years is a mystery to me....I had this interesting experience from batting against Larwood. The first dorsal interasseous muscle between the thumb and the index finger, ached for a week after batting against Larwood, so severe was the concussion of the ball hitting the bat. I experienced this against no other fast bowler.

Nari Contractor on that fateful delivery from Charlie Griffith-I was originally not going to play in the Barbados tour game in which I got hit by the Charlie Griffith bouncer. We had been warned about Griffith's pace, and when he came on to open the bowling, we expected fireworks, but after his first over we thought he was pretty ordinary. On our way in to lunch Dilip [Sardesai] said to me: "Kya, ghanta fast hain!" ("Fast, my foot")

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Happy Birthday maestro!!!