i am completely awestruck by the great schism between the person and the poetry of my late uncle suresh bhat.
though i don’t remember meeting him very often my memories of him are chiefly of this vaguely repellant obese man who was perpetually offensive to all around him. i cant imagine anything more distanced from this man i thought i knew and his beautiful poetry that i have been listening to in the car nowadays. lata mangeshkar and asha bhosale singing in marathi to hirdayanath mangeshkars music (so underrated!).
most of the songs are these romantic languorous pieces in whose words there is a sizzle of an erotic charge. the descriptions ooze with sensuality as the woman swoons longingly over the arc of her lovers back as he sleeps too early in the dimming evening light. the slight touch, the breath, the warmth of the pillow, the waiting.. so much beauty, so delicately imagined.
it is extremely strange to imagine that this sensuality came from a man who came across as crude and unrefined. but the talent is indisputable. i guess that is why in spite of everything my mother and my grandmother still beam with pride whenever she hears a song written by him sung by the doyennes of indian music.