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 succeed. Instances 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