Along with learning some beautiful, magical nuances in music; I also got to see some beautiful insights of my inner self through my Gurujis' knowledge & experience. I had some very negative impact while being associated to another musician who, maybe unintentionally, almost tarnished my determination and will to do sadhana. Why & How? I do not know. But definitely it was meant to be ,because if it weren't for him, I probably wouldn't have learnt some valuable lessons of life and most importantly, taken a step forward in music.
It is another whole traditional episode for music students throughout India to literally fall at their Guru's feet every time they see him/her. Coming from a much care free teaching system at Gulf, I was not so used to these traditions though I knew I had to do it on important occasions like Saraswati pooja, etc. During one such occasion, for Sai Baba celebrations, a very interesting thing happened. I was supposed to accompany my Carnatic Guru, Perumbavur G. Ravindranth sir, on vocals. I was already on a high when he invited me to sing alongside him, a privilege very few students get *yippee* . Soon after the concert commenced and people had settled down to listen to the bhajans; sir had signalled me to sit beside the accompanying instrumentalists. After that he himself, being an ardent
I remember how my very first Guru in Carnatic , Shri. Ramesh K. had come over to my home to commence our lessons. That time my sister would also learn with me. When he began teaching us geetam, there was a time when he would ask me to stop running like a rabbit :) I guess as kids we just tend to be really impatient as though wanting to learn and sing everything all at the same time ! But, he has been the sole reason behind my initial growth in music. He is the most patient person I had met at those times which was why it was a pleasure to learn under him. He is amazingly funny and would always crack little jokes to make the learning process more interesting. I just loved his classes so much that by the end of high school I told mom to ask him if we could secretly pack & bring him to Kerala :) He would never ever praise me for my performances even when I came first for Light music under junior category, consecutively for 3 years! But, that is exactly what made his every comment so exclusive. Probably in my 8-10 year of learning under him, only on 2/3 such occasions was he able to appreciate my singing. On the other hand, my Pakistani guru Ustad Khalid Anwar Jaan, would always keep motivating and praising the slightest nuance or taan I took which was why I felt super confident whenever he taught me.
Some of my musical sessions with Prof. Keskar go without any music at all! Hehe... he is a talker and I am a good listener if it is him on the other end. Initially when I was a new bud who was overtly willing to bloom, he would suppress my impatience with some of his scholarly talks. I remember him telling me how he despised all these poojas that were held at Gurupoornima celebration because it would simply embarrass him. He never liked the concept of Guru being literally treated as God with pada pooja (washing their feet) and restricting them from accompanying their shishyas on vocals or instruments. He has always broken barriers, very successfully, if he felt it curbed the freedom of expressing in any art form. I so love this attitude of his! So, this time during the practice session we were going through this cheerful geet in Raag Yaman . He played the tabla as I tried expanding my vocal chords to suit the rhythm. I so loved the thekas he played that I requested him to accompany me on the main day. He so happily agreed to it reiterating how he dislikes the rules some authoritative people put on Gurus like they are not allowed to accompany people smaller than them, especially if it is their own student. This time with his entire mind he said he would accompany me only for that small composition.
Today was Guru Pournima and I did a 35-40 minute interpretation of Raag Puriya followed by a small geet 'Rang rangile phool khile' in Yaman . Ratnasree, a fab tabla artist accompanied me for Puriya and Guruji for the latter.Also, on the harmonium was a very talented musician, Hussain Ali. Towards the end of the day , Guruji said that how much he teaches is proportionate to how receptive the student is. With the Universe reflecting all the positive energy given out by all my Gurus, I assume that this energy will give me the courage to take fruitful steps forward in most of the things I do ..