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50 years of the Beatles in India

Friday, March 09, 2018

It’s been 50 years since what was once the world’s most popular music band, the Beatles – comprising of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr – came to India in February 1968. Much has been written about their meetings with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Pandit Ravi Shankar, but the significance of their visit lies no less in the fact that they energised the urban youth in our country of the time with a fusion of global pop and Indian culture. When the band returned home from Rishikesh, some of the Beatles songs had elements of spirituality infused either in their lyrics or tunes -- such as in the song ‘Across the Universe’. Now, a book recalling that magical period, ‘Across the Universe’ penned by author Ajoy Bose and published by Penguin is about to be released on January 15 at an event at the Royal Opera House in our city. The launch event is a somewhat high-profile, by - invitation - only affair, but the book will soon be available for purchase for all. Says musician and songstress Devieka Bhojwani, who along with her husband Suresh has performed numerous Beatles numbers during the last five decades: “A lot of the music we (Suresh and she) have performed has been influenced by the Beatles. In a sense they were the greatest songwriters of all time. It was also a special time in our lives – when peace, love and harmony became the buzzwords for an entire generation. That was truly a defining moment, when the cultures of the East and West met in mutual exchange.”

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