Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Star is Dead

Unrequited love. Novels are written; movies are made on the theme of unrequited love. Because there is pain, passion, disappointment, suffering, joy and perhaps pride in the suffering that appeal and sell. Well, I don’t have any stories to tell on this. But mine is a teenage crush, which lasted for about 3-5 months when I was 15 yrs. It was just wide-eyed, long distance, short-lived, never-talked-about admiration. There was nothing. No pain or joy involved. I am feeling the pain now because my teenage crush died last week. Satyaprakash a.k.a Raju Ananthswamy/i was someone a girl could not help falling for. I had seen Satya n number of times on DD in pre-satellite days playing on the tabla with his more renowned father. The crush was instantaneous when I saw him in real life during the very first few days of my college life. Satya was the talented, handsome senior. He could play on harmonium, tabla, mridangam, guitar, keyboard and what not. Since that was the age when we were on GWTW and Austen diet, the charming personality, handsome looks, easy manners, great voice all in one person was like a dream walking in real life.
Not exactly cynosure of lecturers because of academic records, Satya was always surrounded by bunch of guys and girls. His take on madhwa brahmins used to leave people in splits. I came to know him because of my initial tryst with ‘fine arts’. Vile gossips and wild stories about him that I heard from almost everybody later on blew away the respect and regard for him and crushed the crush. Moreover, I discovered that I had no real talent for either music or drama and so interest in them as well as the person associated with them waned. We never crossed each other's paths. Everybody expected and wanted Satya to be a star. But now he is a black hole. The minefield of talent that everybody talked about never exploded on the big stage. Whether it got defused or imploded, I will never know.
Yava Mohana Murali is one of Satya’s popular and also my favourite songs. It is based on a kannada poem. I am not deep and cerebral so poetry does not make much sense to me always. But one line in this song which means ‘ Leaving what we have behind us to get what we don’t have is what life all about’ used to make me cry in my delhi days because I had left behind my comfortable bangalore home.
I had angrily declared once that nothing would come out of Satya. That he cannot step out of his father’s shadows and make a mark for himself. So it was always quite gratifying to read in newspapers and hear about his drunken exploits and his fall from grace from my cousin who was part of his gang and a firm believer in his talent. I never expected him to die so young and unsung. And for once I am so unhappy that my ominous predictions have come true. I am also feeling sorry. For whom and for what? I don’t know. Its the guilt feeling thats making me wish for somebody to tell me that it was just another prank and Satya is still alive and kicking. Death is never fair. But Raju Ananthswamy's death is a tragedy. He was cremated otherwise his grave stone would have read something like :
Life’s journey is not to arrive at your grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, worn out, shouting WOW! What a ride!

Raju Ananthaswamy epitomised this attitude.


Anonymous said...

well written... from the heart, i guess.. i can understand your feelings.

i have heard both his father and him. have seen him accompanying his father. it was gift to raju to have his father's voice but he never put into complete use.

since Raju's death - was just trying to find why these extremely talented people could not control themselves or they don't seek help.

Balakrishna said...

He was a great talent that we could not afford to waste away in such a way........
We all knew his addictions and the problems that he faced as a result.
We (fans) should have strongly protested against this behaviour of his and urged him to take corrective actions.I am still not sure what circumstances exactly made him to take to alcoholism.Only his close friends and relatives can shed light on this.As far as his talent is concerned, he was a gem and it will be a long time before Kannada can discover one.

Abhishek said...

A Very Different perspective... makes it very interesting to read !
Dont be guilty.. People get what they deserve !

praveen77 said...

A simple yet touching tribute to one of Kannada's wonderful singing geniuses. I was cynical about his passing away at an age when he should have touched stardom. I was cynical of his drinking habits that ruined his career. Your blog made me feel sad and lessen my cynicism towards him. Death is inevitable unfortunately.