Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What, elephant?

SURYA GOSWAMI , The Telegraph , Sep 8,2011

It was 1969. Bhupenda was supposed to perform at a function in Silchar. But we missed the flight. So we set out on our journey to Silchar via Shillong. We were in two vehicles — Bhupenda and I were in an Ambassador and an engineer Pranab Bora, Sobibur Rahman and Bhupenda's brother, Jayanta Hazarika, were in a jeep. It was around 10pm and dark. On the right side we could see Sylhet in Bangladesh. Suddenly, our car had a puncture. When our driver was changing the wheel, the jeep overtook us.

After changing the wheel we started our journey. After some time we saw the jeep ahead waiting with its headlights switched on. When we came close the jeep we saw a huge elephant standing on the road blocking our way. Bhupenda was sleeping at that time. "There is an elephant on the road," I said, gawking at the elephant. The moment he heard my words, he grabbed my hands and prayed to all the gods and goddesses he knew. Once the elephant left, we zipped off. I have never forgotten his reaction.

Suryya Goswami, from Nagaon, accompanied Bhupen Hazarika on the tabla from 1967 to 1983