I seem to be on a roll. And I am letting myself be. May the words spill as long as they intend to as right now they seem to have a destiny of their own to make it to this space. Only they found the instrument through my fingers and this keyboard. And yes a million other tech things which I really needn't strike down.
I have heard a lot of people say why it might not work if your Guru is your parent. I am not sure about other relationships but the most I have heard is that when your mother or a father is your Guru, they say you tend to things easy and maybe take them for granted. I wonder where this notion stemmed from, as most most of the musicians in India have been belonged to a dynasty of musicians. And then there were those whose progeny decided not to take it up and decided not to go through with the rigors of it. I wonder what such Gurus feel. Frustrated? Tired? Sad? that their progeny refuse to take their legacy forward? I would never really know. And I hope, that I don't get to know by first-hand experience.
For a lot of things, I am thankful that my Guru is my mother. Though I say so myself, I am yet to come across a teacher more sincere than amma. But then how would you know, you may ask, when you haven't learned from anyone else. The thing is, I have. I have tried learning an instrument from another Guru. And the number of phone calls and visits I need to make to another city for a few hours of class is quite something. And that is how my mother learned. The really hard way. Waiting through the day the teacher might probably give a direct class of less than an hour. And through the day, being with the Guru and being in the presence others who learned from the Guru, the concentration was heightened. The urge and the craving to hang on to every note, every word that was spoken and exchanged and played and sung made sure that the individual at the music class was not merely a student. But an aspirant. Someone who had to aspire all day long, day after day, month after month. And in these several days did the sishyas hear the words of wisdom, musical exchanges between their Guru and other Gurus and stalwarts in the field. A veritable Satsang. Something that is absolutely missing today. And something that I am rarely a part of at Rahman sir's studio. When some of the greatest filmmakers, poets and creators converge in a certain space, every word that they have said and the experience thereof reminded me of my mothers words when she spoke about the Satsangs with her Gurus. Mom was a student of Tamilnadu Govt Music College during the time when it was a place of great learning and doyens of Carnatic classical music were teachers. Thus was my mother exposed to a variety of schools, learned personally under various masters. And not surprisingly identified as an intellectual and lauded for her brain.
Meeting some of the masters later, as I did, I heard them speak of my mother during her younger days and her razor sharp thinking and the injustice she had to later see in various spheres, I couldn't but help admire this lady who just happened to be my mother and Guru.
To you this might be the third post speaking of my mother. But to me this speaks of this individual, Mrs T Padmhasini who is the most profound influence in my life and to a few others.
I know how my mother looked and searched for students that she could teach and owing to my winning a couple of competitions and other parents asking me who I had learned from, it automatically brought some students to my mother. And after Kannathil Muthamittal, some more. But the goals were strange The goals was not to learn music or become a professional singer of merit or a scholar. But to learn music now, sing for A R Rahman six months later, buy a car a year after that and then build a house. So many years of my becoming a professional, we are yet to build ours :)
And strangely some students were pulled out because their parents did not like the idea of their kids idolizing someone other than them. Weird I thought. But that was the way things were.
Finally my mother gave up on wanting to teach. Even to be a successful teacher, you need to have a certain street-smartness or have to be plain darn lucky. Padmhasini may be a strong, forthright, intuitive lady but street-smart she was not. And luck is famous for having failed her many a times.
Speaking about my mother and her tryst with musicians in the classical music industry to a filmmaker who gaped for the most part while listening to what I had to say and said he needs to meet my mother. And maybe make a film or two. Twists and turns and several knots have there been in her story.
A lot of the musicians in the Carnatic music field today have been silent observers and still know Chinmayi as the daughter of Padmhasini. If there was someone who has been hounded for most part of a life it would be this lady I know personally and have lived with.
To be continued.