I Have Fourteen Minutes, Fifty-Eight and a Half Seconds Left In My Allotment.

A friend posted this clip on Facebook, and something about the scene rang a bell.

Ah-hah! It was the first half of the “Concert For National Integration” at Shanmukhananda Hall in Bombay on Republic Day, 1986. I was in the audience; I had traveled from Pune along with Bhimsenji, who was singing a duet with Balamurali Krishna in the second half of the event.

Why is it interesting? I mean, honestly, most of these Hindustani/Carnatic jugalbandis aren’t that satisfying. This one’s no exception; I’m including it in this post for the sake of completeness. The whole ending frenzy is IMO totally inexcusable.

The next day Bhimsenji and his accompanists flew back to Pune; I was a member of the party. I received more than the usual amount of respect from airport personnel, who seemed to go out of their way to greet me courteously. On arriving in Pune I found out why.

Doordarshan’s cameraman had found me in the crowd, and given me a full-face closeup, which is reproduced at 33:47 in the televised video:

I was famous!

On seeing this, my wife commented that I looked like someone who was forcing himself to enjoy something against his own will. That sounds about right.