It is so hard to believe how nine years have just flown by. As they rightly say, all good things must come to an end and, therefore, this is my concluding column for ‘Art to Heart’. I must admit that I have really enjoyed the last nine years of my wonderful association with THE WEEK, and I know that I am a part of the family of this wonderful publication. I would like to thank all my readers and the editors at THE WEEK for all the love, patience and warmth that has been bestowed upon me during this time. Being a musician, I express myself best on stage through my music, through my instrument. However, I really enjoyed this beautiful medium to share so many anecdotes, opinions and, of course, many aspects about the timeless tradition of Indian classical music.
On introspection, I realise that I am a restless person who is on a journey. I am constantly thinking of what music is, and also what music can be or what it should be. Music is a precious gift of God, and like flowers, colour, fragrance, water, fire and air, musical notes do not belong to any religion. India is like a beautiful bouquet of flowers with so many colours around. We have various kinds of religions, traditions and systems. It is so diverse. We must always realise that in spite of many religions and castes, we all depend on each other. The realisation of dependence is our greatest strength and power. The whole world admires India because of its diversity and unity.
Every human being is born with sound and rhythm. Conversations, recitation, chanting and singing are all part of music. The heartbeat or the pulse rates are the indications of rhythm. In classical music, or for that matter most creative fields, there are no short cuts. Discipline, hard work, sadhana and blessings of your guru and parents are the mantras to achieve your goal. The life of a classical musician is not based on calculations and planning. Starting a career in music is almost like entering a dark tunnel with the hope of seeing a ray of light some day. It is a long journey.
Another subject that I have always talked about is that education unfortunately could not create compassion and kindness in human beings. Today, terrorism and destructive activities are at its peak. There are certain countries that ruin the future of their younger generation by injecting hatred in them. A group of people are committed to the idea of destroying the world. Today, the human being has become a symbol of arrogance, hatred and destruction. Thank God, the world has more peace-loving people. I hope and pray that the younger generation experiences peace, harmony and tranquillity in the world. As a human being, I feel proud to see the achievements of mankind. The most interesting one being the option to buy land on the moon!
As I sign out, I would like to end with the opening lines from my first article published in THE WEEK in November 2007. ‘I cannot remember a particular day that I was initiated into the world of music. It was a part of me from as early as I can remember. Indeed, I cannot think of a moment when music has been separated from my life. Life itself was music and music was life. And so, I came to inherit from my father the legacy of five generations of musicians as naturally as a bird taking to the air.’