Apart from his paramount career in music, Legendary Indian Classical singer Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi had a less known angle to his personality.
He was wanderlust, an authority swimmer, a dedicated yoga enthusiast and a football player in his young days. He also had a great love for riding bikes and driving cars. He also was interested in trains and their mechanical engineering. Every vehicle would attract his attention.
He always loved driving various cars and having long discussions about them and their purchase with his friends. It was his weak point. Panditji also had a unique collection of bikes and cars of unknown brands. Panditji initially had an old motorcycle. Thereafter he bought a Fiat. Famous industrialist Abasaheb Garware gifted him a red Chevrolet Impala. Soon after, he purchased Buick cars also. However, he always had a preference for Mercedez-Benz.
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi used to travel around the globe for his musical concerts and the travel was very tiring. However, even after those exhausting abroad travels, he would insist on driving the car back to his home. This was his extreme love and passion for cars, especially driving fast cars.
In the initial years, he never bothered about the risks of dire conditions of road, like smooth edges, waterways, pot holes, stray cattle and other vehicles travelling by the same road. Even a couple of times, it was his good fortune that safeguarded him from severe accidents. However, fortunately it left a favorable effect on him, as he moderated his car driving speed.
He even would drive long distances in lesser time. Even after driving so, he would sing continuously for hours. It was his immense vigor for the both, i.e. singing and driving. Panditji had a unique talent over most of the vehicles and would ride / drive almost anything, be it bullock cart or bicycle to get to a concert.
His personal charisma gained such a peak that even when Chambal valley had the complete control of dacoits, they always allowed Panditji’s car move across smoothly and safely.
Whenever possible, he would drive his car on his own to the places of his intended music concerts. But as his fame went on accelerating, he had frequent invites to the distantly places. With the passing years, his hectic work agendas and public reputation, made him recognize drawbacks of car driving. Thus he allowed air travel into his travel schedules.
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Bharat Ratna Pt. Bhimsen Joshi’s Interview on Siddhi Album