Thanks Sam Swaminathan. It is always a great feeling to receive any information on our MSG sir and that too from an unexpected source. One night I was listening to a Natya sangeet piece played by MSG sir in Chalisgaon in Maharashtra in my room on the first floor. ( I had gone for an audit to the NTC mills there) The night was peaceful and I was enjoying the radio concert. As there was some radio noise , I must have increased the volume to hear clearly. Suddenly one of the junior clerk who deals with cotton waste called my name and asked who is singing the natya sangeet. I told him that it is not vocal and it is being played on the violin. He called one or two of his friends to recognize which natya sangeet is being played and thoroughly enjoyed the piece . He did not know who was playing and simply said that it evoked fond memories of his experience with nataya sangeet which due to circumstances, he could not pursue. I was honestly elated to see such a wonderful expressions on their faces after listening to our MSG sir.
In this same town, I had a rather heart breaking experience. Generally music is much appreciated in Maharashtra . Wherever you go, be it a village or a small town, one will come across traditional abhangs being sung with a lot of fervor. Many has taken to classical music and are keen listeners. I had even come across aged people who come a long way ( even as far from Kanpur) to listen to concerts in music festival such as Sawai Ghandarv festival at Pune. On my first day at Chalisgaon, I was a bit unwell and I was taken to a doctor called Doctor Dathe. He is just a dispenser of medicine and was not a certified doctor. His place was just a small room and as I was leaving his room I noticed a violin hanging from a hook . I immediately turned and asked him whether he plays violin. He asked me a return question as to whether I am interested in music. When I told him that I am very much interested in music, he became very excited and asked other persons to wait and went to another room and put on the shruthi box and started playing the violin much to the amusement of his waiting patients. He played a superb Megh alaap in the instrumental style. I was really moved to learn that he is disciple of Gajanan Bua Joshi ( Both vocalist and violinist). He has learnt directly from Gajanan bua for many years and as he could not get any concerts for a living , he had resort to being a dispenser of medicine to the locals. I then invited him to play at the NTC mills hoping some money could be given to him. from the fund available for such purposes. He came and played but there was no audience except myself and as if that is not pathetic, I later learnt that he was paid only Rs 100 for all the effort. I felt very bad that such a musician is not recognized and respected and he is treated as some unwanted guest. He played for me for more than 3 hours. He played Jinjhoti, Kedar, Malhar and Bhairavi. His technique was good and his music was very chaste and fulfilling. He had a very high regard for MSG sir whom he had heard many times in the AIR programs.
With warm regards,