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How I Chanced Upon A Great Learning Experience

Satish Bhat

Here it comes...the "addictive" email from Lokvani promptly appears in my inbox. Curious to know the goings on in the Desi community in the New England area, I read the news from Lokvani with a lot of interest. Just a couple of weeks ago, I dedided to spend some extra time to explore the links to the side of the Lokvani page. Hmmm....they have a calendar of events!! Hope it is not just a place holder for features to come!

Unable to contain my curiosity, I clicked on the link to find a Tabla Seminar listed as one of the events. This seminar was hosted by LearnQuest in Waltham. Ustad Shabbir Nissar from Hyderabad was going to present the unique and differentiating aspects of the various Gharanas of tabla compositions. Being an absolute beginner who underwent an intensive 14-day tabla course in Bangalore this February, I could not wait to attend this seminar given that this event was being held so close to home.

The event was simply astounding. Ustad Nissar's explanation of the nuances of the various Gharanas such as the Delhi Gharana and Purab Gharana, among others, were eye-opening. Interspersed between his lectures, he demonstrated the techniques of the various Gharanas on his Tabla. To a beginner like myself, listening to him playing the tabla so effortlessly and with such command of the instrument, was simply a divine experience. Thanks to LearnQuest for making this event happen. I only wish that this event was more widely publicized so that many more people could have attend this one-of-a-kind memorable learning experience.

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