Guru is the representative of Brahma (creator), Vishnu (preserver) and Shiva (destroyer). Guru creates and sustains the knowledge and destroys the weeds of ignorance. I salute such a Guru.
I owe my connection with the art forms to my family – my maternal grandparents and my mother for literally passing on the genes. I would consider my family my first gurus, as they initiated me into developing the interest for the art forms. I vividly remember being dressed up very meticulously by my Patti, who would take pains to ensure that I had a good range of pattu pavadais (traditional south Indian silk ghagras) in circulation with matching accessories such as cloth ribbons colour coded to match my outfit for my two braids, bangles in different designs and dressy sandals. I was taken to every performance in Delhi and the “season” in Chennai and recall having very late bed times, and of course, no other children to play with in most of these kutcheris (concert performances). Consequently, I had a huge problem getting up from bed especially during the cold winters in Delhi and can proudly say now that I was a regular late comer to school – due to the high priority the arts were given in my family.
I also recall being woken up in the middle of almost every kutcheri (vocal or instrumental performances) which I was taken to in my childhood. The average performance would last a few hours, but it almost felt like my day started and ended in the auditorium. I would like to attribute the sleep spells to the therapeutic influence music is known to have on our minds and soul!
Like most typical teenagers in rebellion mode, I’ve had my days growing up wanting to disconnect from regularly being taken to one performance or the other – simply wishing to sleep in, or while away time and having “chill out fun”. My thatha would fret about us losing “productive” hours, but my patti’s approach I suppose maintained the balance in check. I’m grateful that my family and gurus used their influence to place their brakes as necessary.
Please click on the images of my Gurus for an interesting read about their backgrounds.