Tarang Blog – Raam’s visit to Bangalore

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Here is the second part of Tarang member Raam’s journey to India:

The second, and main portion of the trip was absolutely incredible! Bangalore answered all the necessary questions I had faced throughout the past year. No words can describe my gratitude to the people who made this part of the trip so special for me. Switching between various teachers during my path had really limited my growth since I was heavily self-reliant. Jayanthiji (Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh) is someone I had idolised for so many years and I initially thought this trip was just another exciting opportunity for me to advance my skills when I planned it many months ago. It was in Bangalore, however, that I realised Jayanthiji is the right person to help me overcome the problems I felt were like unmoveable boulders, both musically and mentally. I felt excited for every lesson but felt I had so much work to do after each one. Each day I managed to spend with her and Kumareshji, whether that was helping out for a concert, following her around whilst she did her errands or sitting for a lesson, was magical for me and to say I really enjoyed my time there is an understatement. I genuinely did not want to leave Bangalore. It was definitely a blessing for her to find time to teach me in her very busy schedule, and I am back home with a more open, calmer mind on a much happier path, knowing I have my Guru beside me to ensure I stick to this newly found path. So many things I have yearned so badly for for years have come true for me this summer. There’s a beautiful quotation which sums up my summer, by American novelist Danielle Steel – “some things in life are worth waiting for.” My musical path has thrown up some very painful struggles over the last few years but it was worth going through that. Summer 2016 has been unforgettable, and I will be forever grateful for it.

 

Back to some less intense stuff – staying with Giridhar Sir (Ghatam Giridhar Udapa- Mithushan’s Guru) was amazing. The view from the balcony where we stayed was beautiful and, even better for us, the weather was perfect! Getting away from the Chennai humidity, watching some glorious sunsets and practising outside under the balcony were all memorable moments I will cherish. I just can’t wait to go back and do it again. Watching his concerts, both classical and contemporary, was so inspiring and they will definitely motivate me to work hard to reach such heights in the future. It was also ineffable how fortunate we were to have met a wide array of world class artists including Sid Sriram (although this was just Mithu unfortunately) and the legendary KJ Yesudas. I’ll really miss Bangalore. I have fallen in love with this wonderful city, but I’m really enjoying knuckling down with what I need to do here musically. Mithu and I have learnt so much this trip. Speaking for both of us, it was certainly a lot to take on mentally and there were many nights we would stay up just talking about music and how we needed to rethink our approach. But we’re glad we had this opportunity as we know we left India as better musicians compared to when we arrived. I cannot wait to return here and keep improving, in order to help represent a British Carnatic identity to an even greater standard of playing, but more importantly, to immerse myself further in the joy of learning and practise. It’s been a huge learning curve and a massive eye-opening experience but more excitingly it’s the first of many in the years to come.

(The first blog post in this series can be viewed here)

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