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Remembering Pandit Birju Maharaj

Updated: Apr 15, 2022

Pandit Birju Maharaj ji (a.k.a. Pandit Brijmohan Mishra), a Guru of Kathak, held the attention of people around the world with his unique talent. He held mastery over the most subtle of movements, the faintest of expressions, and the quickest of dance steps. The incredible thing was that he needed no prop or exact setting to dance; he could do it while spinning on a stage, or seated in a living room. Even the range of expressions and storytelling was not limited to those of men; Pandit Birju Maharaj ji was perhaps the most famous for beautifully capturing a vast spectrum of moods, emotions or conundrums that a woman may have experienced in the different roles she may assume in myth or life. Then he was also Krishna, the eternal lover, guide and God. He was alternatively Shiva and Vishnu. He was sometimes an Indian Chef, and many times, an incredible classical singer and musician. In the skin, bones, sweat, water and blood that it took to make him, he somehow recreated everyone and everything else; like a live storyteller; a live commentator; a narrator; an astute observer; a comic; a personification of all life in the language of Kathak which, too, he helped enrich through his interpretations and repertoire. A matter of consolation for his admirers: he was very much alive and well for a 83 year old when he passed away in the early morning of the 17th. He lived the vagaries of life and Kathak till the end. And that can only be described as a life well lived. May his soul rest in peace 🙏🏼 🕊 📷 of Pandit Birju Maharaj ji: Mr. Innee Singh (Instagram)

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