Feb 19, 2007

Our Guru: Part 2

First of all I apologize for having delayed my next post. Laziness was simply not there in my Guru's dictionary. ( Rings a bell, doesn't it ). Guys, I am making an attempt to emulate my Guru here, but I realize how difficult it is, in the process. He was never a person to procrastinate. I remember dropping him in the Railway Station after one of our classes. On boarding the train he occupied the side berth. All the while he was talking about Ananda Bhairavi Ragam. He was about to sing the Krithi Thyagaraja Yoga Vaibhavam to make a point about the Raga. The signal turned green and I could see the anguish on his face. He would still not let go. He sang a couple of Sangathis before the train picked up speed and disappeared from the Trichur Station. Just imagine his sincerity. He was simply not bothered about what the other passengers would think of him. All that mattered to him was the Raga and his student imbibing its Bhava. As I left the station, I was stuck with a deep sense of guilt, wondering whether I deserved all this, when I did not actually show half the dedication. That night drifted away with the sweet scent of Ananda Bhairavi spreading its fragrance within my heart. The next morning, I was woken up by my father, announcing that there is a call from Neyyatinkara. It was six in the morning and the caller was none other than our Guru. He had just reached home from the railway station and had immediately called up. I picked up the phone and he started off from where he left. Two more minutes of Nectarine Ananda Bhairavi and I could feel his thirst being satiated. His thirst to give, give and give all his music to his students. I am sure this would give a glimpse, just a glimpse I say, of the magnanimity of his personality. I once again live those days when I write this and the feeling is just too good.

Well I had promised to write something about my Guru's day to day routine. He was never a late riser and never an early sleeper. The day would start at around 5 am. Being a fitness freak, at the age of 60, he would still do 50 push ups as soon as he woke up. He never required an alarm clock to announce the time. A quick bath in cold water ( never uses warm water as far as we know), applying the holy sandal paste, a few minutes of silent meditation in front of the Puja room and ,lo...he was ready for the day. Classes would begin as early as 6.00 in the morning. A cup of sugar less tea and a jar filled with warm water. One would be surprised to see how he relished a cup of SUGAR LESS tea. He would always say that the drink lost its taste if sugar was added. The classes would continue until 9.30am. A quick breakfast and some rest for the STUDENTS. My Guru, never beleived in resting. He was a firm beleiver that change of work is relaxation. When we were taking a break, he would be busy notating a rare Krithi or writing about some musical subject or reading any music related articles. The bottom line was always music. My dad, Trichur R Mohan, being a world renowned Mridanga Vidwan, and a great friend of Mohanachandran Sir, would often discuss complicated Thala patterns and Kanakku with him. The mutual adoration was very deep, and it wold keep them busy until the next session begins.

The next session generally started at around 11.30, and as soon as we sat, he would ask whether we had a good rest with a twinkle in his eyes. Before we knew that another two and a half hours have gone, my mother would come and announce that lunch was ready. Lunch for us, snacks for our Guru, for he was a very light eater. He always told us that avoiding rice was the secret of his health. Two dosas was his norm, but he would have a couple of them more at our house, because he loved my mom's cooking. Always had words of appreciation about her cooking and he would even take down the recipe. The next few hours we would take some rest and do our studies( both of us were preparing for our CA). The man himself will not sleep after lunch, for he did not beleive in taking an afternoon nap. His field of knowledge was in no way restricted to music as can be seen from the fact that he took a great interest in repairing any electronic gadget. There are a few gadgets he had repaired for us also. During some rare occassions where he would be completely left to himself during those in between class breaks, he would even arrange the newspapers by date, do some carpentry work and get the door in shape and what not. Come 4'o clock and he would be ready for the next session. His jar of water is re filled and one more cup of sugarless tea. The session would go on till 6.30. The nearby temple was very close to his heart and he made it a point to go to the temple. 7.30 is dinner time and our Guru had something light . A cup of tea after this and time for the final session. That would be a recap session and we would be asked to revise whatever was taken during the day. Had we not insisted upon winding up the session by 9.30, the Master would have gladly gone ahead for another couple of hours.

After the last session, our Guru was a very satisfied man. One more Marathon has been achieved , he would say. We would spread his bed and retire for the night, whereas his bed would remain unoccupied for another few hours atleast. He enjoyed talking with my dad late into the night.A glass of milk, mixed with some home made protein powder was never missed. There are a few krithis to be covered the next day, and those will be notated before he finally retires for the day.

Prostrations to our wonderful Guru. The debt we owe him can never be repaid. To work hard on our music will be the least that we can do.

Loads to follow about Shri Mohanachandran Sir.

Musically yours,

Srikrishna Mohan ( For Trichur Brothers)