STORY OF SELF-LEARNING
A Station Master who picked up from where his father left that flute
“I used to pick up that flute anytime anywhere and would start practicing, which did bother my siblings because, I was very poor at playing Bansuri then. But, after about practice of six months, this song came out well on the flute and my siblings appreciated it. My self-learning seems to have been rewarded of late as I entered the Top-10 in the N&S Instrumental Music Contest 2020”
When I was about 10 years old kid, I often used to listen to my father playing “Peetal ki mori gaagri…” song on his Bansuri for my mother. My father was fond of playing Hindi film songs on Bansuri. But I don’t know why, when I was around 16 years, he suddenly gave up playing Bansuri. His instrument was left to gather dust at a corner which he fondly bought from Mathura.
Then I suddenly got interested in playing Bansuri and started trying to play “O Sathi Re…” on it. I used to pick up that flute anytime anywhere and would start practicing, which did bother my siblings because, I was very poor at playing Bansuri then. But, after about practice of six months, this song came out well on the flute and my siblings appreciated it. Then, I started taking my flute to my college and used to practice it sitting in the playground. I did not get an opportunity to learn from any teacher. By myself I used to listen to a song for numerous times and then would try to play that on Bansuri. Then when I learnt to play many songs on flute, I used to play those on picnics, parties, annual functions and gatherings etc. on my friends’ requests.
At 24, I came to Mumbai as a Station Master in Railways and started living in the suburb – Kalyan. One day, I went to purchase a flute from the shop named “Sardar Flutes” where the shop owner suggested me to buy the book “Bansuri Kaise Bajaye”, which included notations of many Filmi songs. And, I started playing songs by reading those notations, which I still do. I play bansuri only to impress myself.
Then one day I posted my recording of the song “Kahi Door Jab Din Jaye..” on Facebook. And one of my friends suggested me to participate in the Notes & Sargam contest. And, I sent this song as an entry. My happiness knew no bounds when I got selected in Top-25 and then coming in Top-10 was equally exciting. The final round was very interesting – it was my first incidence when I was participating in any contest. I got to learn many things, and got recognition as well.
I would ask all music lovers to keep attached to music whatever it takes. Music is such a medicine that can keep stress, anxiety and depression at bay. Lastly, I extend my gratitude towards Notes & Sargam from the bottom of my heart.
– Anil Srivastava
Text transcribed from his original content written in Hindi.