My brush with fame (literally)

A week ago, I flew to Calcutta to meet the one-and-only Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, one of the two Indian musicians to have ever received a Grammy Award.

As luck would have it, there were as few as seven other people with me as I sat in during a recording session he was doing with Maestro Tarun Bhattacharya, who has been nominated for the Grammy twice. I had a whole lot of fun with them. Here are a few pictures of the session.

1. Tarun Ji at the Santur

2. The Maestros Tuning Up

3. A close up of the "Mohan Veena" ( for more info)

4. Ramkumar Mishra at the Tablas

5. Me with Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Mrs. Bhatt.

Since we offered to accompany Mr. Bhatt around Calcutta (now Kolkata) for the weekend that we were there, I had private, one-on-one talk time with a Grammy winning musician! How cool is that? No, I'll tell you - it was REALLY cool. He's a very down-to-earth person, and listened patiently for me to say what I wanted before countering with his opinions.

On the second night of my stay he had a fantastic concert for Tarun Ji's santur ashram (school), and it was electrifying. There was magic in the music. I'm serious. My friends may make fun of me for liking classical music, but it's my opinion and I've never been prouder of having such an opinion. We even met a very nice man named Mr. Singhania, to whom I mentioned that I'd been playing piano for nearly twelve years, upon which he became very excited and offered to arrange a 2-hour solo piano concert for me! Well, we'll have to see how that pans out.

After that, Mr. Bhatt invited us to dinner! We stayed there until like 3:00 AM (no jokes) talking about the concert and about my future, at which point Pt. Tarun Bhattacharya gifted him a demo copy of SoulPepper. I really, really hope he likes it!

It was a blast. I have never been exposed to much Hindustani music, but this time I had a complete overdose of it, and it left me on high.

~ Advait

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