Thursday, May 6, 2021

Rajan Mishra, classical Indian singer, at the age of 69


His father, Hanuman Prasad Mishra, was considered one of India’s greatest players of sarangi, an arched, short-necked stringed instrument often featured in Indian classical music. Her mother, Gagan Kishori, was a member of Nepal’s royal family and sometimes worked as a singer and taboo player with her husband and sons.

Rajan Mishra studied art and sociology at Banaras Hindu University. He and his wife, Bina, were a housewife, a daughter, Ritu and two sons, Ritesh and Rajneesh. The son is also a musician. Apart from him, Mr. Mishra is survived by his wife and daughter as well as a sister, Indumati and three grandchildren.

Trained to accompany his father in sarangi, Rajan and Sajan agreed to sing together with the children at all times.

When, in 2007, India’s prestigious Padma Bhushan Award was presented to Rajan Mishra, he refused to accept it, stating that it should be given to both him and his younger brother or not at all.

The brothers, who achieved globally, established a school in the state of Uttarakhand in the foothills of the Himalayas, where they welcomed students from all over the world to drown in Indian classical music. The more extroverted of the two, Rajan was the public face of the school.

The brothers traveled all over India to promote art among young people.

Rupinder Mahendru, a friend who taught Indian classical music outside New Delhi, heard the brothers singing for the first time in Lucknow, India in 1979. She traveled to the city as a member of the national women’s cricket team. Soon his match was not over, still in his cricket uniform, he used to take an auto rickshaw to join his vacancy.

“I was so transported by her divine music that life was never thereafter,” said Ms. Mahendru.



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