I must have been around 10 or so, when at my maternal grandfather’s place in one of the rooms, I was humming a melody which caught my aunt’s attention. In a way, it was she who discovered that music was in me and that I was endowed with a faculty to sing well. And that is how it all started perhaps…
I remember singing and listening to the old songs of the Golden Era (of the time of my parents’ and grandparents’ generation) and it was only with time that I realized music was a part of my family too. It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that I’ve received it in inheritance from my father’s side of the family.
Occasionally, when I used to visit my extended family in my native state (Rajasthan), there used to be sessions where the elders, my cousins and I used to gather around and sing songs. Years went by and it was only after I entered middle school that I started taking formal lessons and training in Hindustani Classical Vocal music. All this while, (and even now, to some extent) my music remained confined to me and my family, for I never got into the performance aspect of it, and hence (needless to say), refrained from going up on stage and performing.
I was (and have been) pursuing music as a side passion along with my academics. Music Basti as an organization had been known to me for quite some time during my undergrad years too, but it was only when I started pursuing my Master’s that I applied for the role of a Teaching Artist there. And what a wonderful journey it has been — full of inspiration and learning. My experience at Music Basti gradually started to incline me towards the domain of arts and education, in general. I realized the potential that music (and the arts, in general) holds for bringing about positive social change. I have been with the organization for over two years now, and I have had no regrets or qualms whatsoever. This is actually the thing that I would love to do and continue further in life too, if possible. To me, the combination of music and education seems to be just about the right match.
One fine day that I had my usual class at one of the schools where I teach, I get visited by the founders of this wonderful initiative (Bob and Derek) for an observation session. Ideas and thoughts get exchanged, discussions ensue and I ultimately end up being a proud fellow of the first cohort of the TTL Fellowship program. I wish to be able to make use of this opportunity and use music to bring about larger, meaningful changes in society.