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Re: Stories from my Learning Sitar Time Part 2

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  • kamalakanta47
    Thank you, Adesh. I will be eagerly waiting for the next chapter. Kamalakanta
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 1, 2004
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      Thank you, Adesh. I will be eagerly waiting for the next chapter.


      --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, adesh_widmer
      <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > Stories from my Learning Sitar Time Part 2
      > I enjoy recalling the time around 1977 when my wife Ajita and I were
      > not yet students of Sri Chinmoy, but were being unconsciously
      > guided. I always had the feeling of some protection and guidance
      > even at that time.
      > In Sri Lanka, the two of us got a tiny room in the house belonging
      > to the friend of our new Indian music teacher, the late P.V.
      > Nandasiri. The room had two windows - one on each side - that were
      > even with the ground. People from the street could see right into
      > our room. As Europeans, we were quite an unusual site for the Sri
      > Lankans, and the windows gave these village people ample opportunity
      > to feed their curiosity. Some came close to the window to stare at
      > us. Children used to call "hello" to us. The youngest child of the
      > landlord called us not by our names, but just called us "hello" (he
      > was about 2 years old).
      > The room had a cupboard, a table, one shelf and our two beds in it -
      > and was completely full, leaving hardly any space to turn oneself.
      > The furniture was half used by the house owner, and so we had almost
      > no space for our own things. Only one of us could sit on the ground
      > and practice his instrument in this room; the other one had to
      > practice in the living room, which was adjacent with no door. So it
      > was rather difficult to concentrate on your own practice without
      > getting disturbed by the other one.
      > In the room was also the water pump for the well. This pump was on
      > every morning and evening for 30 minutes - not too loud, though.
      > (The water for bathing had to be pumped up into a watertank above
      > the roof so as to get running water in the house.) Sometimes we had
      > crickets hiding in some corner of our room, making a real noise
      > during the night. Luckily, there was a very very nice servant boy
      > who found them, caught them by hand, and put them into the grass
      > outside.
      > We did not get up at 6 a.m. for meditation at that time, as we went
      > to bed mostly quite late after getting lessons at our teacher's
      > house. But every morning at 6.30, the house owner switched on the
      > radio full blast with news and advertisments. I still remember the
      > sound of it. Of course, we did not understand a word. Anyway, it was
      > a start into the day.
      > Still now when I remember, I do feel sorry for the landlady who was
      > home all day and had to endure the noise (rather than sound) of our
      > practice the whole day long - just exercises - no songs or melodies.
      > And this from two different instruments, each played in its own way.
      > Every afternoon she used to sleep in another adjacent room with only
      > a curtain, and as we were not at all used to sleeping during the
      > daytime, we still went on practicing. When we asked whether it
      > disturbed her, she answered "no, no." I think she really did still
      > sleep, although after a few months we found out that a Sri Lankan
      > would never say "yes" to such a question. Although a Sri Lankan will
      > answer with a simple "yes" or "no," it is the sound and the way of
      > saying this "yes" or "no" and the nod of the head in a certain way
      > which indicates the grade of his agreeing or not agreeing at all
      > with what is asked.
      > The first thing our teacher was worried about when he arranged this
      > room for us at his friend's house was our food. He said: "But the
      > food will be a problem." He knew that we would not be able to eat
      > this hotter than the hottest rice and curry - and we were already
      > vegetarians at that time. I told him: "I don't want this to be a
      > problem." But it turned out to become one of the biggest problems
      > for us.
      > More next time
      > Adesh
      > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, adesh_widmer
      > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Stories from my Learning Sitar Time Part 1
      > >
      > > (or how Sri Chinmoy guides his students long before they actually
      > > become his students)
      > >
      > > In 1976 when I was on my first trip to India (I was 22 and my wife
      > > Ajita was travelling with me), we went into a music store and asked
      > > for a sitar to hold. When I held it in my hands, such a thrill went
      > > through my body that I knew I must learn to play this instrument.
      > >
      > > At home, after a few weeks I bought an instrument in Switzerland,
      > > and I did not feel playing it was very difficult.
      > >
      > > In January 1977, a great sitarist gave a concert in my home town. I
      > > tried to see him, leaving a message at his hotel, but he was not in
      > > the mood to see me. So at the concert that evening, I had a real
      > > spiritual experience, of which I can only remember that it gave me
      > > another push to learn this instrument. At that concert, Abarita was
      > > distributing leaflets for a lecture which we later attended. We even
      > > visited the Sri Chinmoy Center in Zurich, where there were only a
      > > handful of students at that time. Our veil of ignorance was however
      > > too thick, and we did not yet become students of Sri Chinmoy (it
      > > took another 10 years). I remember that I helped promote another of
      > > Abarita's lectures. Then I found a job in a cinema for a few weeks.
      > >
      > > I did not know what to do with my life. I practiced sitar without a
      > > teacher, read spiritual books (not Sri Chinmoy's however), and
      > > planned to go to India. We applied for an Indian visa, but were
      > > refused; so I somehow got an inner message to go to Sri Lanka
      > > instead.
      > >
      > > Within one or two weeks, Ajita and I were on a plane (Air Ceylon) to
      > > Sri Lanka.
      > >
      > > In Sri Lanka we again went to a music store and inquired whether
      > > they might know any teacher I could learn the sitar from (and Ajita
      > > the violin). They said that they didn't know anyone, which I knew
      > > was untrue - but we had learnt from our trip to India that we just
      > > have to wait and see. So we waited for perhaps another 20 minutes in
      > > that (quite small) store.
      > >
      > > Suddenly one of the workers said, "Here is a teacher." What Luck!
      > > Sri Lanka's best musician he was, which of course we did not know,
      > > but we asked him whether we could learn music from him. He agreed.
      > > His name was P.V. Nandasiri (he passed away in March this year.) He
      > > said he will come to see us at our hotel - he really visited and
      > > gave us our first lessons in tabla, as I had no sitar at hand yet.
      > > To know the basics of tabla is essential to learn real Indian
      > > Classical Music.
      > >
      > > He visited us every other day, and at last he said that as we came
      > > all the way from Switzerland just to learn music, he would also take
      > > the matter very seriously and teach us everything he could. He
      > > arranged for us to stay at the place of a friend of his who was a
      > > film producer. This was only five minutes walking distance from our
      > > teacher's house.
      > >
      > > more follows.
      > > Adesh
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