Nobel for Bob Dylan, music capital Shillong blowin’ in the wind

How many ears must one man have.. Before he can hear people cry?

Bob Dylan's timeless classic 'Knocking on Heaven's Door' being played in Shillong during a world record attempt. (File)

The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind… An unconventional singer, with almost a nasal voice, went on to inspire a generation with his simple but hard-hitting songs expressing the growing social unrest and questioning tradition and injustice.

Bob Dylan who was conferred the Nobel Prize for Literature became the first songwriter to win the coveted award. The American singer songwriter was awarded the Nobel for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”. Simply put, as The Shillong Times editor Patricia Mukhim wrote on Facebook, the great singer was conferred the “Nobel Literature Prize for promoting World Peace”.

Northeast was elated with the news as fans welcomed the singing sensation’s rise to glory. Commenting on the joy in Shillong, senior journalist Shekhar Gupta tweeted, “Imagine the joy in our music capital Shillong in Meghalaya which has more #BobDylan fans per sq yd than anywhere in the world.”

Regarded as Dylan of Shillong, Lou Majaw welcomed the news with an announcement – a tribute performance to the singing great at Cafe Shillong on October 16. “God bless Bob Dylan, God bless us all,” Majaw wrote on Facebook.

“This is the greatest news on earth, man. And it calls for celebration,” he said. Till yesterday, for Lou Majaw, the greatest day of his life was when his son, Little Dylan, was born in 2003. Probably, that now has a competition.

“I am glad that somebody like Bob Dylan has been honoured with the Nobel. Yes, it is a great moment for all of us. Dylan’s words are so powerful and it’s relevant. I think at the present moment, it’s even more relevant. I think the world should listen to his songs now and hope for a better tomorrow with no more war. I happily disagree to agree to those who have raised questions on this selection. I think Dylan is one of the greatest poets of our generation,” said Guwahati-based journalist Abdul Gani.

 

“The lyrics made me think about humanity. I was introduced to Bob Dylan songs during my early school days and since then I couldn’t ignore the strong lyrics. Having grown up with music around me, I believe Bob Dylan played a beautiful part in shaping my vision towards peace and war. ‘Blowin in the wind’ is on repeat since some hours now,” said Andrew, a student from Shillong.

Along with the thousands of fans, Shillong’s tribute to Bob Dylan – Dylan Café – is on cloud nine celebrating the Nobel.

Shillong strummed its way into the Guinness Book of World Record on October 26, 2007 for the largest guitar ensemble when 1,730 guitarists — mostly youths — strummed in perfect rhythm to Bob Dylan’s timeless classic Knocking on Heaven’s Door for more than five minutes at the city’s Jawaharlal Nehru stadium.

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