22 September, 2020

A Mad Genie, Out There

It's not easy being Kumar Gandharva's son, even if you are a Mukul Shivputra

Vivek Pateria
A Mad Genie, Out There

May 25 will go down as a significant date in India's cultural calendar, when Hindustani classical vocalist Mukul Shivputra, one of the finest musicians of his generation and also its most elusive and peripatetic, inaugurated the Khayal Kendra in Bhopal and took over as its "pradhan shikshak". Such an event would not have normally caught the media's attention had it not been for Shivputra's tempestuous life, the latest stormy chapter of which played out just a few weeks ago.

Being escorted out of the Bhopal station

On May 6, this exceptionally gifted singer, son of the legendary vocalist Kumar Gandharva, was found, his clothes tattered, his hair wild and his beard unkempt, in the company of beggars in a Bhopal temple. A friend brought him home, only to have him slip away. Eventually, the state government intervened and traced him to nearby Hoshangabad. Now, even as he takes up his position at the Khayal...



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