A few days ago I got the result of my Hindustani Classical Vocal Music Exam - I got 42/50 - First Class with Special Commendation!!!!!

I've been studying Hindustani Classical Vocal for a year and a half now and the Violin for two years. Classes are in the morning, daily from 7.30 am to 9.30 am and I try to put in an hour of practise in the evening.

For fifteen days before the exam, however, it was a really grueling schedule -

  • Six hours daily practise at the class - three hours in the morning and three hours in the evening.
  • Two hours extra that I put in after the evening class, practicing in the city parks and in a city mall to get over stage fright issues.

On the day of the exam I ate a lot of potatoes and bananas - carbohydrates are good for you :-) - and at the venue, drew sketches of the other students - drawing is always a very calming exercise.

Anyway, it all went very well and now on to the next thing. Sometimes I think I'm in the mountain climbing business - one peak scaled and there's a new one looming ahead.

Oil, 24 by 30

I've always been keenly interested in music. I listened - and still listen - to a very, very wide variety, and after a point I gravitated towards learning to play.

First it was the guitar and I also play the harmonium, both of which I like well enough, but the violin holds a special fascination - the moment I held the instrument I had the 'this is mine' feeling. I love it completely.

I heard a musician once say that it isn't an easy instrument and you should start on it when you're seven or there's no point. I think he meant for playing on the professional level, which is not a concern with me. Yes, it's not easy, but if you want to learn something really bad 'not easy' is not an excuse. And the point that it brings me tremendous joy is point enough for me.

Everyone ought to learn to play an instrument. Apart from the obvious satisfaction of making music, you learn patience and persistence. And the sense of achievement after you get a piece right - after having played and replayed it about 150 times! - is a real kick! :-)