Lou Majaw usually never opens his Bob Dylan dos with ‘A hard rain’s gonna fall’. The dark clouds hovering over the Laban Sports Club ground in Shillong did not go away but it rained celebration as the ‘Tambourine Man’ turned 70 on Tuesday.
Majaw, 64, has been organising Bob Dylan’s birthday bash every year. “The legend might have stepped into his seventies, but here in Shillong he’s just 39,” he said.
The 39 refers to the number of Dylan birthdays Shillong has hosted since 1972, the year Meghalaya attained statehood. The event has prompted travel magazines term Shillong as one of the top 20 go-to destinations on May 24.
But, as rocker-poet-troubadour Majaw echoed Dylan, “Times they are achangin”. A Dylan do in the past commanded a gathering of more than 5,000. On Tuesday, only 200 turned up.
Among them was Kroster Kharbudhan, 73, who has never missed a show by the ‘local Dylan’.
He brought along his granddaughter hoping she would grow up to keep Shillong’s date with Dylan after “I am gone”.
Majaw, an antithesis to the reclusive, frail and impassionate Dylan, wondered if the balladeer cared about the extent to which people go to be a part of his birthday bash in Shillong. “But I hope he comes here once, not as a performer but to see what we do to keep his legacy alive,” he said.