It seems ages ago, almost in another life, that I quit my job to become a performing musician, a flautist.
I did play the flute as a hobby during my engineering college years. It took some years for the hobby to develop into a serious passion. The moment of making a choice, however, came after having spent 14 years with a large multinational.
I was discovering the possibilities of exploring Gayaki on the flute, with some modifications I made to my instrument. This of course meant that I would have to develop the technique, and devote more time to the flute.
I decided to quit the job, and plunge into the world of music.
I enrolled for the Master’s degree in Music at the Centre for performing arts at Pune University.
During the two years at the centre, I worked on the subject of listener education, and designed an elaborate “Music Acquaintance Program”, which was delivered as an extensive workshop with a vocalist friend.
As to my own development as a flautist, I was getting restless. This phase of restlessness came to an abrupt end when I found my present Gurus: Pt Suresh Talwalkar to begin with and now Smt. Padma Talwalkar. In their Sahawas, I started finding answers to most of my questions and things started making sense. Terms like Taleem and Riyaz now found new meaning, and I started experiencing the power of, well, experience!
The last few years have been most blissful. I tremendously enjoy my riyaz, each day beginning anew with a small challenge. Regular sessions with Padmatai ensure that the challenges keep coming.
The Listener education work on the other side evolved into founding of Ragasphere, together with a dear friend, Nandu Kulkarni. The ragaquest section @ ragasphere.com houses a series of videos, which explain musical concepts, right from the fundamental elements of Swara and Laya, to the performance, vocal and instrumental.
Another major landmark came with an online course for teaching of Hindustani Music, perhaps the first of its kind in the MOOC space. The course, fully authored and executed by me, has been launched by Kadenze, a company specializing in art related courses.