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As a young child, I had the great honour to study Hindustani Classical music, with legendary vocalist, Smt. Saraswatibai Rane, from the Kirana Gharana. I can still recall the beautiful, ornate, wooden tanpuras (तंबोरा) with delicate, ivory, inlay work, standing tall in her music room. She would patiently tune, both our tanpuras, to the perfect pitch. Then she would hand over my instrument to me, as if, it were a frail newborn baby, that needed to be loved and cared for. Sitting tall, we would lean it, against our ears, and strum it gently for sometime. Then she would lead, and I would follow. Sometimes, she would gently ask me, “Which Raaga would you like to sing today?”, and my whole being would light up in delight!

Today, I return to my studies of the Indian Classical music with Shri V.S. Balamurali, a gifted Carnatic vocalist, and music teacher. My lessons with him have renewed my love for music, multiple fold! I’m unable to dance the Padams, the Jatiswarams, the Varnams, until I can sing them well. At times, it is frightening to be so out of control. But, today, there is more madness, and gaiety, in drowning in the Sruti! There is a need within to internalise the lyrical quality of music, before dancing to it. The journey appears to be long, but I recognise a slow inner blossoming, around my throat, and voice. And sometimes, most unexpectedly, when one petal opens inside, my entire being reverberates in ecstasy!