13 May, 2021

Shakti's Postcards...

Pop diva Tina Turner takes a boatride down the Ganga. Madhu Jain chats her up.

Amitabh Ghosh
Shakti's Postcards...

It’s that strange neither-here-neither-there hour when the sun rubs its eyes and settles down for the night. We are on a boat being rowed at snail-speed down the Ganga in Varanasi as dusk moves in and the ghats, draped in a mist, appear like a postcard from the edge of time. Tina Turner has been quiet, taking in the moving kaleidoscope of life on the ghats, and across on the other side of the river where boys are playing cricket and people gather in groups.

Sitting there, cross-legged on the upper deck of the boat, with young musicians playing an evening raag on the sarod and sitar, she looks quite like an ancient Saharan queen with her high cheek-bones and golden brown skin, a skin that has a strange glow, even in the evening light. There is something ageless about her, like the river. Her sixty-three years have barely marked their passage on her. And she looks much tinier and fragile than she does in her performances when she is energy incarnate, with a voice that comes from somewhere very deep.

Neither has her troubled life -- childhood poverty...

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