The funeral of Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi, who died of prolonged illness, was held with all state honours at Vaikunth Crematorium in Pune yesterday evening. Amidst thousand of his tearful fans and friends, the notes of 'Mile Sur Mera Tumhara...' floated in the air. As a mark of respect, buglers played the last post followed by ceremonial gun salute to the Hindustani vocalist.
Before this, Bhimsen Joshi body was kept at his residence 'Kalashree' for public to pay the last respect to the titan of classical music world. Many fans and friends made a beeline to pay homage to the maestro. Several dignitaries like Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and the Union Minister for External Affairs, SM Krishna, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa and former RSS chief KS Sudarshan also paid tribute to the departed soul of Joshi.
Later, Bhimsen Joshi's mortal remains were taken to the Vaikunth Crematorium. As his last journey started from his residence, his bhajans and songs were played along the way. Listening to the powerful voice that enthralled thousands of music lovers across the country for decades, his admirers shed tears silently. Bhimsenji's elder son Raghavendra performed the last rites at the electric crematorium.
However, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi died at 8:00 am at Sahyadri Super Speciality Hospital in Pune on 24th January. The Bharath Ratna award winner was suffering from multiple organ failure i.e. urinary infection, respiratory, intestines and kidney problems and was recently admitted to the ICU. The Hindustani music exponent breathed his last in the hospital, while the doctors were struggling to revive his deteriorating health.