John Denver is a country music icon.I had never heard his name or listened to his music before Ankur introduced me to him. I liked the simplicity of his voice and lyrics and his knowledge of the physical world around him. Even today when i am travelling home to my native place, the only song that keeps flashing in my memory is John Denver's Country roads,take me home.
Now it so happened that in the spring of 2001 i found myself vacationing for a couple of days with Ankur in Bhilai . At that time he lived in an one room accomodation. One fine morning he woke up and declared that he needed to buy an audio casette of John Denver- as if he had a dream in which he was asked by an angel to do so. We ventured into the market place and after few searches we came to a muisc shop which claimed to have music from all over the world. The man incharge there looked like he knew music. With great expectation Ankur spoke-
Bhaiiya aap ke paas western music ka collection hai kya ?
Haan sir, tamam hai.Kya chahiye aapko ?
John Denver ka koi cassette hai kya??
Array Sir ab hum dinbhar to gaane nahi na sun sakte. Hamari bhi family hai.
Neither of us spoke.I didnt knew what to say or do at that momment. I looked at Ankur, he had a deadpan expression on his face. We came out of the shop and before we could say anything to each other we exploded into fits of laughter. We remained in that inebriated state for ten more minutes.And the rocky mountains felt less rockier.
As an ode to country music i am quoting from the work of another great guy who knew the country too well-
The world has no name. The names of the roads and the mountains and the deserts exist only on maps. We name them so that we do not lose our way. Yet it was because the way was lost to us already that we have made those names. The world cannot be lost. We are the ones. And it is because these names and these coordinates are our own naming that they cannot save us. That they cannot find for us the way again.