Sunday, September 22, 2013

SoundTrek - Mixing India and Bharat

 (Parikrama and the talented young musicians of the Gandhi Ashram, Kalimpong on the show)

I was on an autorickshaw back to the station from a recent conference I had attended. I struck up a conversation with a school professor who shared the auto with me. I asked him how his experience at the conference had been. He said this, "The talks were good, but many of them were speaking about India, while the problems I faced where from Bharat."

I started thinking, 'So are they very different?'

Staying in India for the past two years, I can say I am proud about how far my country has come after Independence. But has everyone benefited from development. Have we all really modernized.

As a young idealist, I wish there was a learning utopian society, where people from both India and Bharat had equal opportunity to find their true potential through the art of self education. People from the rural and urban scale, were not discriminated on their background, and were given the chance to read the best books, understand world culture, and experience life to the fullest.

I got a glimpse of this on Fox Traveller's new show titled, 'Sound Track'. The concept is very interesting where the organizer's make a popular band collaborate with local musicians from different states. I have seen a few episodes and enjoyed the music and this mixing of culture.

But I loved the last episode best because,

Parikrama the band, got to collaborate with the students of the Gandhi Ashram.

Here is the mission of the Gandhi Ashram from a Times of India article on them on the January 23rd, 2011.


'Gandhi Ashram School was born in 1993 of the seed of a simple thought: music can be the proselytizer to a better life. And so the school, started by Fr Ed McGuire, a Canadian Jesuit, brought into its fold poor and destitute children from the area and supplied them with an ICSE education and morning and noon meals, on condition that they learn a stringed instrument.

"There are about 300 children at the school. It is mandatory to learn the violin, from kindergarten to class eight, the final year after which they are required to move out to other schools, although they may return to GAS to continue their musical training," says Valerie Tobergte, a 20-year-old German musician who is on a one-year residential at GAS, teaching its children the violin and piano. And although not every child wants to grow up to play for a living, music is for them a panacea for the troubled time of hard-up youth.'

Read the full article here -


Watching the show and the young musicians and Parikrama play, I saw a shared vision. A vision that included both Bharat and India

How awesome is that. What if we could give children from every corner of India a chance to experience Shakespeare, Tagore, Bach, Einstein, Angelou, Michelangelo, Subbulaxmi and more.

Wow, wouldn't that be a wonderful India. Wouldn't that be an India in Bharat and a Bharat in India

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