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Beyond Borders - reaching out through music

It was a cold wintry evening in a small German town called Bottrop.I had just concluded with a Bhairavi thumri. The concert was a fund-raiser for the victims of the Gujarat earthquake- it was a concert organized by the Mayor himself, and the town hall was filled to capacity.

I was deeply moved by the care and concern of the people in Bottrop, who were able to feel the pain and trauma of their fellow human beings several thousand miles away.
A tall, fair-haired German came up to me and introduced himself as Dr. Joachim-a physician and homeopath; “would you be willing to be part of a similar fundraiser in my hometown as well?”-he asked. I felt very happy and fortunate to be part of such a venture and said so to him in as many words.
Thus it was that a few weeks later, we were in Monchengladbach- an old town on the Dutch-German border.

The concert was to take place in an eleventh century cathedral. I was stunned at the magnificent architecture.
Once inside, I gazed spellbound at the exquisite stained glass windows, the graceful soaring arches, the faint smell of burnt candles and polished wood. It was as if, Time had stood still. The serenity of the place was incredible. On a different plane, the acoustics of the cathedral were superb.
As I began my recital, I couldn’t help thinking, how interesting this was;
The unfolding of a ‘raaga’-the manifestation of an ancient culture, in a setting which stood for another tradition and culture just as ancient.
This was so uniquely beautiful. I truly felt blessed that day – my music steering me across a bridge spanning two great cultural traditions- It was indeed a grateful moment of communion with a Supreme Power, a wonderful experience and a precious memory that I will cherish forever.

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