Kabir, me and All India Radio

For the last few days there has been a churning in my mind about Kabir.

I started to write for the first time about Kabir, not in a blog format, nor poetry - but the reasons and the manner in which Kabir entered my life. IT has been a long journey.

And today as I record this- spiritually i find myself in a quiet place- for how else could have been someone who engaged with Kabir at an early age?

I was invited by the National Channel of the All India Radio- to discuss and share my story of Kabir. There is so much to share, that a program like that is really not enough. And I realize that if you do not tell the anchors they can pretty much not ask you the questions which evoke serious, insightful responses. How can they? They engage with so many people of so many different lines of work it is simply not possible to ask the best questions.

But that reminds me about my own interview with Madhup Mudgal long back- when i worked as a young editorial assistant in the (now dead) ARTimes. I read and read so much about Kumar Gandharva- because I was going to talk to his disciple about him. I wanted to ask him good questions, where he would say something insightful about his guru. The interview was among the most successful interviews done with Madhup Bhaiya himself, he confessed himself. Imagine my recorder failed to record anything!!! So when I checked it after a few minutes it was blank. IN panic i called up bhaiya and told him what happened. He immediately came down with his own recording device:)- but now i had figured out to be more careful and I managed to record him again on my own device.But that was a different time- I was just about 25.

IN the radio interview we talked and the tanpura kept playing quietly in the background and whenever i was up to it, I just sang a line or so- the manner I normally do while speaking about kabir or illustrating something musical. IT was interested as I did not know that such a thing could be done on the radio also!

The real interesting part was that I had been invited for a 15 minute interview!!! I felt like telling them that calling me for a 15 minute interview is a waste of my and their effort- i should be given at least an hour. But I did not have to say that to anyone- they automatically gave me an hour, and decided that the same interview could be broadcast in three different programs- cutting chunks here and there. Those three programs would be the original Mulakaat for which I was invited, Stree Shakti and Sant Baani. So let us see how this goes. I hope I get connected, as I will be out of Delhi at the time of the broadcast.

Once upon a time when I had gone for the first time to audition at the AIR- Delhi station, i had only given options of Kabir bhajans. When i sang at the audition, I was asked do you not sing anything else? I said no. They never cleared me as a candidate. Next time I interspersed Kabir with a little bit of Meera and only then could i go past the clearance line. But that was long back-2004. I have not bothered about the radio ever since. But now maybe I need to reconsider that decision, so am just getting together my list, which is not going to be Kabir only all over again- even though my Kabir repertoire has really become big!

Satguru mohae bhaavae

From my four CD Kabir album, called Kahe Kabir, this is one bhajan that I am now in a position to share. It was recorded when I was i...