Friends and family called, they came home, talked to me, holding me, comforting me. They knew I was suffering. Then one day a friend draped a length of new fabric around my shoulders, saying: this is what your mother did for us when I lost my father, this is our ancient custom she had explained to us, the way our people moved on, recognizing, accepting that the cycle and rhythm of life must continue. Take it as her blessing. I broke down crying. She hugged me and then suddenly told me to write, express all that I feel, venting my grief, unburdening it.
I have heard stories recounted of Gurus who are hard taskmasters, who make their shishyas grovel before deigning to teach them, who are uncompromisingly harsh in enforcing their discipline, demanding that these phrases should be rendered only thus, these taans constructed only in these patterns. I have seen shishyas with rigorous taleem under their belt, still struggling under their Guru’s shadow, stepping out only to imitate or reproduce what they have learned. Only a rare shishya takes the tradition ahead, boldly combining it with his own intellect and imagination.
The Indian sociological tradition has always endorsed the Guru’s position – right up there, at the top. Your Guru moulds you, educates you, enables and empowers you, teaching you life’s values, ethics, worldly skills, imparting knowledge and wisdom, building an awareness of self and a bridge to God. The respect he commands is unique, absolute. The Hindu calendar devotes a day, the Guru Purnima, to venerate and celebrate him.
I saw the movie The Help a month or so ago, for the second time. Definitely a good watch again, interesting, well structured, well scripted, and with well essayed roles. My first viewing had been against the backdrop of all the noise and hype that usually accompanies awards ceremonies, where it had featured brightly and prominently, bagging a few trophies. But my scepticism was blown away; The Help, was all it was touted to be, a well made film with a solid subject and story.
I was born in Jamshedpur and am now living in Pune. Jamshedpur & SHC ( my school) in particular, has a lot to do with who I am... the fact that all of us there were thrown together in our own melting pot probably made us a little more receptive to and accepting of each other's stories and backgrounds. Did a master's and an M.Phil in economics in GIPE Pune, worked for a while, and then chucked it all for music, which hasn't given me any bread and butter yet, but which makes life totally worth living. I compose a bit too.