One year later>>>

Today we complete a year, tomorrow is a first ‘anniversary’ of returning back from Goa. It is a funny thing to say- nothing can be more ridiculous than the anniversary of return from one city to another. But in this case it is.

I had left Faridabad and gone from here for good- I was certain that I was going to create a new life for myself in Goa, because it is so scenic and the beauty itself will take care of all my concerns,  give me an opportunity for new connections and help me establish professionally- both musically and otherwise. So then, the great leveler that life is- nothing ever goes as we imagine it could. There is a difference. If you are lucky the difference is not so big that it would bother you- but you got to be lucky for that. I had no such luck. The difference in my imagination and reality was almost 70%. But then that may also reflect how much of a dreamer I still am! Not a bad thing that my youthful dream-ability is still intact at 45.

The problems I encountered in Goa were of a dimension I had never imagined. So for now I am not going to brood over them or even reflect back- they are the stuff one writes stories about. I hope to, as well. Coming back to the theme of this post- our return- all of us five-some (if there could be a word like that!).DSC00048

From the last July (2016) we all moved back, grew sick, recovered a little and so …

But then if I were to count my chickens, who are also hatching nowadays, here is a tentative list…(of that which has happened in the last 12 months)

List of hatching chicken …

The health nugget

Health has been a big…HUUGGE mess. Mine, Ginger’s, Raga’s, mummy and papa (event though they don’t stay here with me)

Last year’s chikungunya was bad- pains are still lingering and energy levels remain low with me. But I have started a new therapy whose third sitting I took yesterday. They have promised that I can recover in four weeks from the pains I am suffering from and I am quite hopeful.

Pain is a big problem and it incapacitates completely. Not just that, it compromises the quality of life one is living. So to be in pain is to live a life in fear, because you cannot say yes to doing so many things you want to do. Getting rid of chronic pain is an important issue in improving the quality of our life and remaining mindful about our health. I hope this is the best step towards that outcome.

Research

In mental health/phd research

Last year, when I was starting the research, things looked so uncertain as I had no clue. But even in that haze a year has passed by and I have made some progress in meaningful ways and need to get more organized still.

I have nearly found the research participants and it is a big relief- already interviewed three and one has sent me her answers by writing by hand.

In counseling

Some progress, and it is a great joy to see that I am coming to a point where I may offer counseling training as well. Just gearing towards that nowadays.

In Music

  • Oh this is the one that brings the greatest happiness. Am working profusely in composition, and in notating them (obviously).
  • The book is stalled for now, but I hope to begin soon. It is sad that my health took such a toll that the contract with the publisher fizzled out. Nothing is more tragic for a writer- for this was a contract that had come my way, I did not have to seek it out in the least!
  • While teaching children, some research ideas have come to mind- some that are nagging me to worry about what is going wrong in their schools and whether music can really transform their lives or is it just a thing to pass their time with? I am also quite worried, rather perplexed to see the different learning abilities of children, depending upon their socio-economic backgrounds. I fear that this is the fault line that will keep some people ignorant and poor!

 

Home

Fish and birds

Is getting better, more organized and more suited to the climate than ever before. There are new members around in the form of birds and fish. Yesterday I also paid an advance towards the new fish tank- which will probably be set up in August, when Andre comes. Right now I just have two siamese fighters- in each in two small glass bowls.

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Raga having a moment with the cockatiels, April or May 2017

Of course the cockatiels are here to keep chirping around in the cage and soon I intend to get them out of the cage as well.

Birds keep coming on two sides of the house in the least , thanks to the cockatiels’ leftovers newer birds are moving around here, in addition to the regular ones- mynahs, sparrows, finches, occasional parrots and doves.

Gardening

I have worked very hard with gardening- financially, physically, emotionally, and I am beginning to see dividends. Last year I had the best garden in winters, till so far and I hope to repeat the feat this year too. I had a good measure of spinach, lettuce, coriander/cilantro last winter- even some tomatoes. In the summer we were late in sowing, so many things perished. Many things perished because of the heat as well. So both reasons- our lateness and the heat killed many plants, far too many.

So it was a lesson well learnt about the seasons and the climate in general. I have done a lot of fortification around the house-including painting the outer grills on three sides of the front. In this picture one can see a pole on which a basket is hanging right in the middle- this is a strong iron thing, in two locations, meant for baskets of flowers and green plants. I love the idea of hanging baskets, but have only one for the last few years. So now is the time to grow their numbers.

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This is a picture from today morning- its been raining, everything is wet, but the greenery is bright and sparkling, thanks for the wash

There is a lot of help here than I can ever imagine in Goa- there are scores of people working, doing little little things around the house to make life move and it is a great blessing. It leaves one with so much time to do whatever you want to or can. In Goa, this was a constant struggle. And the people there were of a narrower disposition and very regional/small minded. Out here the labour force is gigantic in numbers and people are hardworking in general.

Professionally- in music and counseling

On both these counts there is significant gains and I think on the whole, i have moved back for my own good. it is proving to be so.

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4 thoughts on “One year later>>>

  1. namastE,

    I was googling the name “Ashoke Dasgupta” this morning, and after trying his daughter’s name Malavika Sengupta, and his wife’s (Namita) and his grand-daughter’s name (Piyu) in various combinations, the Divine led me to linking his name with Ustad Mushtaq Hussain Khan, and lo, and behold! your posts came up!

    I read about your connection with Guru Dasgupta-ji, and other elements here and there, and I realized there are some connections between us:

    I am Indian, you are also Indian.

    We both have taken lessons from SRee Dasgupta-ji.

    We both see the connection between music and mental health. (I go by the GOpatha-brAhmaNa dictum — Vaak u bhEshajam saRvam and I believe that music is Naadmayee Vaak while literature is VaRNamayee Vaak).

    I write poems in my mother tongue MalayaaLam and you write in English.

    I adore Hindi language although I am a dAskhiNAtya. And your mother tongue is perhaps Hindi.

    And there might be other connections as well, but the primary one, seemingly, is through Guru Sri Dasgupta-ji, who taught me through singing how to improve my Bansuri technique in the early 90’s when he and I were living in the same area near the Indian Embassy where his daughter worked.

    I live with my family now in the Rocky Mountain area of north America (I like to name things by the geographical rather than the political designations). We moved here in 1998, when our older son Shiv-nandan turned 5.

    So, that is my self-introduction.

    This is just to say namastE and Hello.

    Mohan Karta

    Like

    • Thank you Mohan

      Please accept my namaste as well, and thank you for your interest in my blog.

      Well the time you moved to the US, is the time I started my brief but significant training with Dasgupta-ji. (I recently learnt that he passed away about a year or two ago, when I was away to Goa). I am nowadays into teaching my own students and I realize the role of his teaching in making me hone my swara-lagav.

      Life is a great mystery and how people meet is a great enigma itself. How I met with Dasgupta-ji was also a chance occurrence, and I was with him for a short time- nothing more than a year and a half. But the learning was there for sure.

      I hope you would enjoy some of the writing on this blog.

      Regards from India/Faridabad
      PS

      Like

      • namaste, Prateeksha-ji,

        Thank you for your response. Let me get some dates straight. I moved to the US in 1978. I moved from Washington, DC to where I live now in a Rockie Mountain valley in 1998. I took lessons from SRee Dasgupta-ji during 1991 – 3. He taught me through singing, but I played the bansuri. Now I play (at a basic level) the sitar and sarod, and the tabla, which I learned in 1995 from a Manipuri dancer, who played the Tablas for his Kathak dancing daughters in Washington, DC. In my view all the various timbres are equally important for the wholesomeness of music, while singing is the “emperor” as the Ustad-s used to say — galaa baadshaah hein.

        Over the last weekend I got four or five of your articles from various journals, but I have not had any time to read them yet. Needless to say, your research one of the most fascinating that I have seen.

        Since 1994, my work has been in the field of disabilities and music. Not research, and not music therapy. But just bringing musical opportunities to people with disabilities, mostly children and teens.

        Personally, I will share my musical story is slow course. There might be things there that interest you as a scholar.

        If I had married at age 24, I would have had a daughter as old as you are!! Imagine me and you taking lessons from the same teacher, me when I was in my early fifties!

        The world is full of amazing things.

        Mohan

        Liked by 1 person

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