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Namaskar! It is indeed a great honor & blessing to offer my humble gratitude to Gurumayi ji, and Bade Baba. I am speaking to you from my home in Mumbai where I live with my beautiful wife Nayaab. We were married recently on 16th of December 2019.
Over the years, when my parents, my brother Manas, and I would visit Gurudev Siddha Peeth, I would have the opportunity, along with other drummers, to play the tabla during chants. I think I was five years old, when I first had the opportunity to play tabla solo for Gurumayi. It was during a celebration of her birthday. On that day, when I was playing, my eyes were on Gurumayi. And Gurumayi was looking at me and smiling. I didn’t have to think. I was just able to play.
Since then, I have felt that my music is an offering and a prayer to my Guru. As I play, I keep Gurumayi in my mind and my heart. Praying and offering like this opens my mind and heart musically and inspires me to play better. I am able to explore new and different dimensions in my tabla playing.
Today I will be playing an improvisational tabla solo in a 16-beat rhythm cycle called Teental. In the Indian musical tradition, there are hundreds of rhythmic cycles, and Taal Teental, which is easy to connect with, is one of the most popular.
I am concluding with a composition in which the drum has the resonance of ‘bells’. Just as we offer our salutations & Aarti to Bade Baba with bells and drums!