While driving towards Sultanpur Lodhi, I saw Professor Kartar Singh on the highway waiting for a bus just past town Khmano on Chandigarh-Ludhiana highway. I had to make an abrupt stop and reverse the old lady Innova in order to block the bus which was about to be driven away. I got him off the bus for he had already climbed inside and was looking for a place to sit. I was half worried with an eye on my vehicle to make sure nobody ran away with it, as we see sometimes in the movies – motor vehicles of all kinds being ripped off leaking folks.
We were soon belted and rolling at 75mph. Instead of Ludhiana, at about 4:40 PM, seated inside the Qila, Sultanpur Lodhi – the site of the Anad Conservatory, I was interviewing him with some of the local press reporters also joining in. During the conversation, while telling him that I do not know what this ‘light music’ actually means, I demonstrated a composition in a ‘small’ rhythmic cycle, which was mostly centered magically on one note only. Since, I understood the value of this composition, singing hadn’t been the same. One can have an extraordinary composition but singing less than extraordinarily or singing an ordinary composition extraordinarily..!
He is a fine man and one of the finest contemporary composers in India. Already a recipient of the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama (Sangeet Natak Akademi)’s Akademi award (2008), he, alongside Bhai Sahib Bhai Gurcharan Singh and Maharaj Baba Jagjit Singh Ji, was made the Tagore Fellow of the Akademi.
As usual, the huge parrots provided background songs. Here are some images taken by Jatinder Singh Bhamra using my little Leica: