It is said that it is very difficult to have something very precious and not to show of it. People who have nothing, even they can not stop themselves from showing of. But yes, there are some persons who have some very rare and precious things, and yet, they do not show of. This rule is applicable even to arts and artists.
Artist has two basic qualities with him. These qualities are insight and skill. Most of the times, artists lack in insight and are skillful. Such artists show off their skills. But, there are some artists, who are on a much higher plane as far as both insight and skills are concerned, but they never show off. One of such artists is, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. Pandit Bhimsen Joshi is unbeatable as far as insights and skills are concerned; but, he is so much absorbed in his music, that he totally forgets that he has to showcase his talent. Bhimsen Joshi Ji, unlike other artists, goes somewhere within himself when he is singing. This outer world disappears. All those claps, audience praising, everything falls away. What remains, is Bhimsen Joshi Ji and his meditation.
Indian is a land of artists. There are many artists having a musical background stretching up to 8 to 9 generations. Bhimsen Joshi, had no such background. This man, ran away from his home after hearing a record of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan. What I love, is this fire of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Ji. This can be seen in performances even at the age of 80.
I remember, a video of Bhimsen Joshi Ji singing a Bhajan by Saint Tulsidas. His eyes were closed. Absorbed somewhere inside him. As if he was searching for something or rather he was refining something. I have never seen any artist so much absorbed in his art.
Critics have one complaint against Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Ji. The complaint is that when he sings, lyrics cannot be heard properly. He does not have a clear excruciation. The thing to note is that, it is not that he cannot pronounce. The first priority of bhimsen Joshi is the flavor, the juice. And many a times, it happens that wordings affect this juice. Bhimsen Joshi is so much absorbed in flavor, that lyrics just do not matter. Words are lame, the juice, the flavor is what matters. If someone compromises lyrics for flavor, I would love the person.
At the end, I remember a sung Bandish by Bhimsen Joshi ji-
I am awake…….
With your eyes,
submerged in the juice….
Image taken from- http://dharwad.com