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I miss my guru who taught me for just one month


Sanjib Bahadur Thapa

Hi, I’m from Nepal. I was always very fond of music. In my family no one is as crazy as I am about music. I love the Bamboo Flute. There are many people in and around my village who play bansuri, especially in the evening time. Since childhood I have been listening to those melodious tunes and it developed my interest to play Bansuri.

I was, may be 13-14 years old when I got my first Bansuri which my father bought for me. I was extremely happy that day and I kept showing off my bansuri to my friends and other people the entire day. I went to Sonbir uncle who used to play bansuri, with a hope that he would teach me. But, I was disappointed with him as I saw him drinking alcohol. I was a good boy so I decided not to learn from him. Then I asked my friends if they know someone who could teach me. One of them asked me to meet Nipender Singh – an old man in his 60-70s. His house was about 4-5 km away from my house. I went to him and he agreed to teach me.

Every day after school, I used to visit Nipender sir to learn Bansuri from him. For about one month I took classes from him. But, then one day I came to know that he passed away. I was shocked. He was a very good man and a great teacher. He had taught me well how to hold bansuri, how to blow into it, how to play notes, breathing exercises, etc. I was a small boy and could not bear this loss. I remember that day after I reached home, I cried a lot. I told my mother that I will not touch bansuri anymore. My mother consoled me and said if you dont play bansuri anymore, then up there, your Nipender sir will be very upset. So, you must play it.

I took my mother’s words and after few days of his death, started playing bansuri every day. I do not know if it was my teacher’s blessing that I started playing songs on my bansuri very well. Although my learning from a teacher was for about a month only, but I quickly learned how to play it.

My father used to get angry that I was neglecting my studies, but mom told me that he secretly admired my bansuri play. I am 35 years old now but I still miss my guru Nipender sir so much. I am sure he must be blessing me from heaven.

[image only for representation]

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Useful Resources
How to read SARGAM notations

  • CAPITAL LETTERS = Shuddh Swars (Flat Notes)
  • small letters = Komal Swars (Low Notes)
  • A Note with # [hash] = Tivra Swar (High Note)
  • Letter/Alphabet ONLY = Medium Pitch/Normal blow on flute
  • Letter/Alphabet PRECEDED BY a ” . ” [full stop] or  a ” , ” [comma] = Low Pitch/Softer blow on flute
  • Letter/Alphabet FOLLOWED BY a ‘ [single quote] = High Pitch/harder blow on flute
  • Notes in { } = “murki” have to be played very fast without any pause
  • A Note in ( ) = “kaan swar” has to be just touched before moving on to the next note
  • A “~” between two Notes = “meend”. That is, you have to glide from one note to another slowly to produce that wavy effect.