lost music

Just got news from mum, that my music teacher passed over. Kidney failure. Diabetes. Barely 60 yrs old.

She taught me music through almost 10 years. Distinctly remember my first ever lesson with her - in Raag Yaman. Taught in a room crowded with old trunks, piled one over another...a corner full of every picture of gods and goddesses that ever arrived at the house...a shiny, looked after set of 2 tanpuras in another corner,one small one and another full size. We sat on the floor on a finely woven cool chatai, the edges sowed in with strips of colourful cloth to make the work of art last longer. An old german harmonium betwen me and Mashimoni, my name for her. Mom sat on the only chair in the room, a bit in the dark corner. The room was lit with one kerosene lantern and one candle...a regular response to 'load-shedding'.

Mashimoni asked if i had brought my music notebook, which in subsequent years i used to often 'forget' on purpose to display my displeasure at being hauled in to 'waste' my time doing this 'boring music thing'. Yes, i had, that cool september evening. She then found a pen lying in that groove on the harmonium. In impeccable hindi she wrote the bandish and the 'swaralipi' (music notation). I have been looking at those notes from 20 years back today. Precious.

Mum and i used to take a rickshaw to come to Mashimoni's house. It was at her house that i first saw a real 'kuan'...a water well. It was Mashimoni who taught me how to do Alpana on the floor for that elaborate celebration of Saraswati (goddess of music/learning) Puja.

Today, i also fel indebted to a blog - i needed to share these thoughts and found this safe space to do so.


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