“I merge into Delhi without making an effort”
Delhi is the city that I come back to, after travelling for days together for my concerts. It is very important for me to unwind after these days and I am glad to come back here for that. Most of it comes from the presence of my guru in Delhi, my father Pt Laxman Krishnarao Pandit, his presence itself is reassuring. We often sit for music, I learn new bandishes as Gwalior Gharana is a treasure house of compositions, besides I do long stretches of riyaaz everyday; thankfully the neighbours are kind! I also like to teach.
There is nothing more satisfying than imparting the vidya, though I take only about 10 students a year, including Indian and foreign nationals. I am a bit choosy when coming to taking more numbers, as I teach oneto- one under guru shishya Parampara. I am happy to see that many people in Delhi approach me to learn music. However it irritates me when asked “I have one month to learn for the auditions of Indian Idol! Delhi has many opportunities to hear music of all genres. This is a great way to unwind. Be it festivals, baithaks, haats and the like— we also are blessed with many good auditoriums. I just wish the audience was more groomed, to come on time and keep their cell phones switched off, for starters! I have always admired the abundance of magnificent monu- ments in our neighbourhood. And I don’t have to travel far as I can see them in my daily life— while driving, morning/ evening walks, attending festivals( where monuments itself are the venues). Be it the Safdarjung Tumb, Humayan Tomb, Qutub Minar, Purana Qila, the Subz Buj roundabout where Lodhi road meets Mathura road. My favourites for walking are Deer Park and Nehru Park. Both are rich in architectural monuments and water bodies, tall trees, walking trails which make them pleasurable. I specially love the Deer Park for its historic remains; the Siri Fort wall, particularly the evening lightning in the water body with fountains.
However, what disgusts me is the lack of cleanliness, decent cemented parking lots. I wish there was more safety for pedestrians. Having lost Tushar, my elder brother in 1994 in a road accident, I think things have not changed much. I like to sit late evenings in parks, but don’t feel safe. People come for picnics to parks and litter all around. The same lot when abroad doesn’t seem to forget the rules. It seems that a bug bites them when they are in India. With sab chalta hai attitude. But despite all these drawbacks, I love Delhi, it is the city I merge into without an effort.