MUMBAI: As a student of Indian Classical Music, I have been to Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia’s Vrindavan Gurukul (school) in the past for many- a- times, just to listen to his music and to imbibe whatever I can from his divine playing. But this time my purpose to visit Vrindavan Gurukul was different! I was interviewing a musician for the first time ever and that too of Panditji’s calibre! 

vrindavan_gurukulThe gate of the Gurukul has a brass bell attached to it and if someone wants to enter the premises, one has to ring the bell. Just perfect for a place like a Gurukul, because it is indeed a temple of music for students. 

As we climb up a few steps, there is a beautiful Krishna Temple on the right side. Every year on Krishna Janmashtami Panditji organizes a 24-hour non-stop flute recital. He plays all night and then his students take over. This day sees a lot of music lovers from all over Mumbai and other cities going at Gurukul to listen to Panditji’s divine flute.

Pandit_Chaurasia_fluteOn the left is the room where everyday the students come to learn from him.
A lot of students from India and other countries stay at the Gurukul- following the ancient tradition of learning in which a student resides at Guru’s home. The Guru reveals all the knowledge as per the student’s capacity and while staying at the Guru’s home the student does his or her bit in doing the daily chores of the Guru’s  home.

chaurasia_awardWhen me and Kartik were waiting for Panditji, we got a chance to look at all the awards Panditji has been honored with, from Indian Government including the Padma Vibhushan. And then the moment Panditji entered, the room charged up with his electrifying energy. Well in his eighties, Panditji walks faster than a 20 year old!

In an instance, we started to video record but we missed to put on the audio recording button. After he completed his answer, we reluctantly asked him to give the answer again as it was not audio recorded. Without any irritation, he gave the same answer with the same level of enthusiasm

Maatibani_Chaurasia

Nirali Kartik, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and Kartik Shah in Panditji’s gurukul in Vrindaban, India

In the end he sent his blessings and wishes to founder of DesiYUP, Mahesvari Autar for her efforts to bring Indian Classical Music to the music loving audience in The Netherlands. 

The master flautist has pleased many generations of music lovers across the globe and I send all my best wishes for his upcoming concert with DesiYUP!

Nirali Kartik
Vocalist – MaatiBaani

Click on the video to see the end result of the interview