The Blessing and the Burden

The Blessing and the Burden

Philosopher Patrick Grim says that we have two kinds of heroes: those who are both enviable and admirable, and those who are only admirable. We admire the Beatles’ musicianship, and also envy the success and adulation they received. But although we admire Abraham...
Kirtans East and West

Kirtans East and West

In yoga centers all over America, people gather with a few instruments, usually harmonium, guitar, and/or tablas, and sing kirtan: Musical chanting of the Hindu names of God. Once these places taught only the physical postures of hatha yoga, now they are expanding to...
Thinking Outside Pandora’s Box

Thinking Outside Pandora’s Box

When I first found myself wanting to play Indian classical music I was, like many young lovers, scared of commitment. It was bad enough when I was a rock and country musician who wanted to play jazz in coffee houses, where most of the jobs paid little or nothing. I...
Twenty Years of Recipes

Twenty Years of Recipes

I have been enjoying India Currents (IC) ever since I first chanced upon a copy in 1989. India Currents is unique, and has been from the start. Even when it was a simple black and white newsletter that mostly listed Indian cultural events and conveyed something...
Remembering a Legend

Remembering a Legend

When Bhimsen Joshi passed away in January 2011, newspapers and magazines all over India ran his picture on the cover with no caption except the dates that set the borders of his time on earth. There was no need to give his name or say anything else about him. He was...