How music has shaped my life

Recently I was invited as a guest speaker by the music club of Ahmedabad University. I was asked to speak about how music has shaped my life. The music club has shared the video of my talk (14 mins) on Instagram. For those who prefer to read, I jotted a brief synopsis of my talk below.

  • Many gurus, many lessons The life lessons that I imbibed from my gurus whether it was rigor, flexibility or empathy continues to guide me in my journey. It was only much later that I realized how fortunate I had been to be exposed to various musical traditions at an early age.
  • Music all the time Over the years I grew up with music playing all the time at home—on the gramophone, cassette recorder, CD player or the radio. While I continued to learn carnatic music I also listened to Hindustani bhajans, played the piano (briefly) and would sing along with Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar on the radio.
  • Roll with the punches Moving countries and continents multiple times was not the ideal scenario for a carnatic musician to succeed. Soon enough I realized that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade! Stepping outside my comfort zone I came up with programs such as HumRaag (classical meets popular music), Bhakti (musical journey with the mystics), Antah Prerna (musical telling of an entrepreneur’s journey) that made classical music accessible to a wider audience.

Now as I teach these young bright students at Ahmedabad University I realize how teaching has its own rewards. The learning never stops for any of us.

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