Monthly Archives: December 2011

Life’s Lessons from the Bansuri

Bansuri or the Indian flute is one of the simplest music instrument, a piece of bamboo a few holes and lo we have a musical instrument. What could be more simpler ? It was a big surprise then this deceptively spartan instrument thought me many a valuable life’s lesson !

The Bansuri belongs to the Stealer of the hearts – Lord Krishna, ancient lore describes how the gopis of Vrindavan forgot all their task mezmerised by the sound of Krishna’s flute. My introduction with the bansuri was some what similar if not as dramatic, I heard the bansuri being played by a flutist on the day of Anantha Chaturdashi. The serene melodious voice flowing through made it a “love at first sight – sound rather” 😉 🙂

Next few days went about reading/listening/watching videos on the web and familiarizing myself about the bansuri. After which I felt the time was ripe to purchase a bansuri and start playing !

.. and so I went to the shopkeeper and asked for a ‘E’ scale bansuri which is a professional 30 inch flute. Then started the wrestling match try as hard as I did to blow through the bansuri, it refused to budge, except for the sound of hissing air there was none of the serenity I expected ! Determined I made a mightier effort, after 2 – 3 mins, my lungs begged for some respite and my head felt giddy. As I stood vanquished the shopkeeper played the bansuri with ease and sprang forth the melody I had tried to produce in vain !

and hence I learnt

#Lesson 1 – Never underestimate !

The shopkeeper gave me a smaller flute and asked me to start with it. I took it home and wrestled with it for 2 days, day and night until finally, I was able to produce the first note ‘Sa’ !

and with that I learnt

#Lesson 2 – The first attempt needn’t be the last, try try until you succeedInstances of life might be disappointing but never be discouraged, keep trying !

A couple of more weeks and I was able to get all the 7 notes (more or less) on the bansuri, my room mates will strictly vouch to have heard nothing except cacophony ! 😉 Soon I reaslised the need for a teacher and started a search. The search yielded nothing for a few weeks as bansuri teacher’s seemed to be a rare breed and none seemed to be around my home ! The cause seemed hopeless and just as I made up my mind to commute for hours if needed to learn, miraculously I found an excellent teacher residing just a few minutes away from my home.

and with that I learnt

# Lesson 3 – if there is a will there is a way 😉 don’t give up on a worthy cause !

My room mate too succumbed to the charm of bansuri and both of us enrolled for bansuri classes together and thus began our journey. The early days I had the urge of wanting to play film songs and other popular tunes like Airtel dhun, I got the notes of these songs/dhun online and felt happy if I got my roomies and others to recognise what I was playing ! However my music teacher wouldn’t at all bother what songs I could play, all he bothered about was the perfection of each note that I played. He just kept on making me practise the 7 basic notes ! As time passed and my ear started contrasting the difference between what I and my teacher played, I realised the fundamentals he was stressing was more important and that my eagerness was becoming my own death knell of music learning !

and I learnt
# Lesson 4 – ‘have the objective in mind, else one would waste time in action’ – as I did practising playing songs rather than the basics

# Lesson 5 – ‘get the fundamentals right and rest would follow’ – as I obeyed my teacher and curbed my eagerness to play film songs and dhun, I actually realised I got play the songs and dhun’s better !

In the inital days I compared my bansuri with that of my roomie, I felt his bansuri sounded better, looked better and there was this certain dissatifaction that my bansuri probably wasn’t as good as his ! However as time went by, with practise and guidance of my teacher I was able to get better sound from my bansuri.

and understood that

# Lesson 6 – pratise maketh a man perfect
# Lesson 7 – ‘Grass looks greener on the other side but it needn’t be !’ – Initially I did feel that my roomie’s bansuri sounded better and indeed the Indian flute made from natural bamboo varies, each piece of bamboo is unique and might sound a little different even if sourced from the same origin. However the better I got at playing the bansuri,the better it sounded. My bansuri had thinner walls and produced a more hollow ringing sound, my roomies had a slightly thicker wall and gave a more deeper voice, as time progressed I liked each for its own !

In life too circumstances vary, more often than not one wishes they ought to have been on the other side. However by making oneself better chances are we will be able to make our own seemingly barren fields lush green ! This was the most important thing I felt my bansuri conveyed to me! 😀

The instrument belonging to the Stealer of the Heart, stole my heart and with it thought me a few lessons of life ! My bansuri training is still a long long way to go

but I am enjoying the ride ! 😀 🙂

Interested in Knowing about Indian Flute/Bansuri – check the sites below



Site by a disciple of Hairprasad Chaurasia



The story of 7%

Since two years I have been hearing numerous discussion and reading innumerable articles about India’s GDP growing at 7% and wondered why the fuss about a measly 7%.  I remember all the punters, economists & so called respected mutual fund manager claiming at the begining of Year 2011 that it was a great time to buy into Indian stocks and that we were growing at 7% and possibly will touch 7.5 % etc. They gave a number of stocks to put on the buy list and some even dared to predict, come end of Dec 2011 Sensex would touch 22k ! 🙂

Jump through to Dec 2011 – Sensex stands at 15K, many a buy calls especially those belonging to the airline industries stocks have fallen flat, airline companies stand on a huge pile of accumulated losses if not at the door step of bankruptcy. The magic 7% seems to be fading to 6.5 % or so and a kg of bananas has been costing me Re 2 more week on week ! The shopkeeper seemed stunned on my questioning him about raising prices when the PM had said inflation was supposed to wane ! 😉 Btw I have a high regard for Mr. Manmoham Singh, personally I feel he is the best brain available to fix the situation we are in, if only people wud let him run the country.

 Coming back to the magic 7% I never understood the fuss about it. Yes, it meant that India was supposed to prosper but what was it with this 7% that grabbed so much attention ?? The revelation came when I was fortunate enough to hear Mr. Mohandas Pai , former HR Head of Infosys, speak at an award function that my dad and his other colleagues had won. Mr Pai spoke about a lot of things and it really impressed me, but what caught my ear was this 7% that he spoke about. He said that this 7% growth meant that India would double its economy in the coming decade and that would mean, India growing as much in the coming decade as it did in the past six decades or so !

On hearing him, lo ! to my surprise, it stuck in my head that it all boiled down to simple 5th – 7th standard airthmetic, Compound Interest !

the calculation would go as forth, assume India grows at 7% for the coming decade, India today is a 1 trillion economy

Principal P = 1 trillion  — Rate of Growth G = 7%  —- Time period T = 10 years

Simple compund interest formula =>

A (Indian Economy after a decade from now) = P*(1 + G/100)^T

                                                                               = 1 trillion * ( 1 + 7/100)^10

                                                                               = 1 trillion * 1.96

       India after 10 years hence = 1.96 trillion ~ 2 trillion !!! or rather twice the current size !

Just imagine the tremendous pace of growth this implies, all the past six decade growth squeezed into the coming decade ! Seems like we are in for an exciting times ahead !

To put the figures into perspective,

US stands at 14 trillion mark currently

 Japan at 5 trillion

China at 4 trillion

France, United Kingdom, Italy at approximately 2 trillion each

The question though is will the 7% story continue for another decade ? Will growth be inclusive for all section of the society and not the servant of a fortunate few. Corruption & petty politcs will of course be the villans in the story.

Will the 7% story still be victorious in face of all odds is something we will need to wait and watch !