NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 1, 2021 (bdnews24): On a floating stage draped with garlands of marigold and rose petals, brothers Rajan and Sajan Mishra, both wearing white kurtas and pajamas, sang verses of a meditative, melodious ancient raga as the Ganges River lapped around them. Their performance, for a short documentary film about their musical family, was seamless after decades of singing together, each brother picking up where the other left off with perfect intuition. “In Benares, the tradition was not just to listen to music but to consume it,” Rajan Mishra said in the film, using an alternative name for their hometown, Varanasi.

Rajan Mishra died April 25 at St Stephen’s Hospital in New Delhi. He was 69. The cause was complications of COVID-19, his daughter-in-law, Sonia Mishra, said. She said the hospital’s lack of ventilators had led to his death. No one immediately answered calls to the hospital Wednesday seeking comment. Rajan Mishra was born in Varanasi, considered by Hindus to be the spiritual centre of the world, on Oct 28, 1951, a member of his family’s fifth generation of Indian classical musicians. (His grandson is in the seventh.) “He was a national treasure,” Sonia Mishra said. “If we cannot arrange the basic facilities for such people, a common man will never be able to get those facilities, and we will keep losing lives like this.”