Yesterday I came to know, via Prof. Abinandanan’s blog post, that theoretical physicist Rahul Basu of The Institute of Mathematical Sciences has passed away. I’ve never met Rahul in person and my relationship with him was limited to that of a quiet follower of his blog, As I Please. His interests were eclectic, ranging from food, music, movies, and travelling to science, education, and political commentary. His acerbic comments on Shashi Tharoor’s (in)famous tweets were particularly memorable. But what came through most vividly on reading his blog, his book reviews, and his online guide to eating out in Chennai was the portrait of a person in love with life and all that it has to offer.
Pachelbel’s Canon, known popularly as the Canon in D, was the subject of his last blog post. For all my great love for western classical music, I was blissfully unaware of this wonderful little sparkling gem of a baroque masterpiece until Rahul blogged about it. It’s been quite a long time since a piece of western classical music truly excited me; but I was excited enough about Pachelbel’s canon to actually send it (in the form of a link to a video I found on YouTube) along with my wishes to a friend on her birthday. Even as I was gushing over my find and feeling immensely grateful towards Rahul for having blogged about it, came the sad and unexpected news that he has passed away. Incidentally, some of his last words to the world at large as a blogger were:
Mozart and Bach will last for ever, but so will a little known Pachelbel’s little gem…
These words will continue to resonate in my mind for a long time to come. So too, I’m sure, Rahul Basu will continue to be fondly remembered by the readers of his blog, members of his family, friends from all over the world, students, and colleagues. The world is now poorer by one passionate, intelligent, zestful, witty, and at times acerbic voice.