Last night was a super duper success. The hall was jam packed. We had people who stood outside the doors for 20 minutes before some space was created for them to come in. There were students sitting on the stage, people in all the aisles. It was nuts. The energy in the room was incredible. So many people from all over the country and world came together to celebrate the person who has had such a profound impact on their lives and our family and friends join in our celebration to witness the talent that he has nourished and cultivated. From one of Guruji’s first students from 30 years ago to a student who just began learning at Rhythm Riders two weeks ago, three decades of students were present at the occasion. I am so happy that I had a chance to be apart of it.
I got a chance to start off the evening with a pure Delhi gharana solo and it went quite well. Then of course, the professionals took the stage. Tabla Triveni – Guruji’s American group tabla ensemble did a fantastic job. 17 year old Rahul Shrimali blew the audience away with his Ajrada tabla solo (to give you a sense of the difficulty in playing this gharana’s compositons – there is a saying amongst the maestros that if a crazy dog bites you, only then will you think to play Ajrada). The tabla trio, specially created for the occasion, of Nishant Mehta, Kaumil Shah (aka Khakra) and Sahil was fantastic with Nishant playing only Guruji’s compositions, Sahil playing pure Punjab and Kaumil playing compositions from Guruji, Ajrada, Delhi and Punjab.
Thank you to everyone who honoured our invitation and graced the occasion with their presence. Thank you to all my friends, family and supporters who were there in spirit cheering me on and have supported me through my journey.
Lots of pictures and videos to come.