I did not grow up listening to Anil Biswas. He did not really figure in my musical journey. I loved Seene mein sulagte, Kucch aur zamaana kehta hai, Kacchi hai umariya, without even knowing that they were His creations.
My first real exposure to a classically-based song was Adi Narayan Rao’s Kuhu Kuhu bole koyaliya, and I was floored. Much, much later I was introduced to this gem by Biswas, “Ritu Aye Ritu Jaye Sakhi Ri”. I was completely bowled over!
My faith in Indian classical music went up further. My respect increased manifold.
How ironic that after I moved to Delhi, I met him and Meena (By then, they were living here). Anil da and Meena were my brother’s friends. Since I was living with my brother during my MBA days, I met them very, very regularly. Either at their home or at my brother’s. Extremely spirited, simple, fun-loving, witty, warm pair. Always smiling, laughing. My brother and Anil da worked on a couple of musicals together. My brother is trained in classical (14 years) and is a composer of exceptional melodies. While Meena, Dev (my brother) and I sang together in them. Rehearsals were like picnics.
Much later, I found out that he was The Anil Biswas. The Bhishmapitamaha.
To me, he was and is Anil da and she was Meena. Friends (despite the age difference–which I never felt) with whom I have sung, laughed and had such a ball.
What a wonder of a raagmala, rendered by Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar for Prem Dhawan’s lyrics in Hamdard (1953).
(This essay was penned on 31st May 2016-the death anniversary of maestro Anil Biswas)
Minnu Trivedi, originally from Bombay, lives an inspired life in Delhi. Unlike all his siblings who were trained in classical vocal, Minnu was not; yet, he sings beautifully, often without orchestral support. He likes to call himself “a rebel without a cause”.