Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Serving Music

The world needs two things: correct knowledge and true music. - Guruji (Pandit Divyang Vakil)

When I first changed paths and decided to follow the music route versus continuing with volunteering and doing water and sanitation, a lot of questions and confusion arose in the minds of many. After all, the "purpose" of doing volunteer work or water and sanitation in the developing world is easy to figure out. Its noble, its for the greater good. Easy to understand, hard to argue against its value. But now here I was - pursuing Indian classical music seriously, that too at a late age (like ballet, generally you begin ICM or indian classical music at a young age). Compared to the engineering degree and lofty goal of building toilets around the world, somehow putting that aside and training to become a professional tabla player did not quite stack up in the minds of many.

But there is a purpose, a higher purpose, if you want to call it that. Music is completely intertwined with universe and its source. Indian classical music was not a spontaneous creation, but a well-understood and thought out development. I don't believe stories of Tansen and Bilaskhan are mere folklore, they speak of the true depth and power of the music. Music moderates society, it keeps things in balance. That isn't hard to believe. They are countless who listen to music to relax. Good music, true music has kept the world in check. Look at society over time and how it has degraded and compare it to its music and its degradation, you'll find a strong parallel.

Music is and can be a saving force. So long as true music is alive, there is some force that is working to balance the negative. What is the higher purpose of what I doing? I am trying to serve that music.

1 comment:

Trushna said...

Way to go Henna. Wish you all the best on your journey with this wonderful music. I'm truly in awe of the tabla and it's music. The tabla is what drew me to Kathak dance a few years ago. I completely understand your passage above...I felt the same way about my pull to teach dance while I was in India versus doing other volunteer activities.

All the best!