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The times are not a-changin’

- Shillong to wish Dylan today

Shillong, May 23: A ritual refuses to lose its sheen even if the times they are a-changin’.

Shillong’s date with Bob Dylan will come alive tomorrow, once again.

Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman, the celebrated American singer-songwriter and musician, will turn 73, and like it has been since 1972, tomorrow, too, musicians in this part of the world will raise a toast with Dylan’s music.

The brainchild of singer-songwriter Lou Majaw, the Bob Dylan concert has become an annual ritual for the city.

Tomorrow evening, Majaw and company will enthral an eclectic audience at Cloud 9, Centre Point, here.

“From being a small, almost private celebration three decades ago, the Bob Dylan concert today attracts audiences from across the country and even from overseas,” an organiser said.

Apart from Lou Majaw & Friends, the other artistes who will be performing include Arjun Sen, Matthew Syiem, Rahul Guha Roy and Jasper Dawson.

“The event promises to draw a huge audience from within the city as well as attract a large number of young and old people from all over the Northeast, the rest of the country and a few from abroad,” the organiser said.

Majaw and his friends have been celebrating Dylan’s birthday in Shillong since 1972. The very first celebration took place on May 24 of that year in Laban locality.

Although Majaw picks Dylan as one of his all-time favourites, he has refused to buy the tag that he is the “Dylan of India”.

Majaw had told The Telegraph earlier that he was “a tiny drop of lyrical writing where Dylan is a megaton”.

But Dylan’s influence has spread far and wide with Blowin’ in the Wind and The Times they are A-Changin’ becoming anthems for the US civil rights and anti-war movements. His lyrics incorporate a variety of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences.

Although The Times they are A-Changin’ came to light in 1964, for Majaw and company the “annual ritual” of celebrating Dylan’s birthday has not only refused to change with the times but has also not been blown away by the winds of change.

No matter how far Dylan is from Shillong, his fans, led by Majaw, will always raise a toast in honour of the legend and sing Happy Birthday!

Even Dylan has to agree that the times they aren’t a-changin’.


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