(By Shree Arving Parikh)
IT gives me great pleasure and happiness as an old pupil of Prof. Krishnaraoji Tendulkar to associate myself with this event when Shri Krishna Vidyalaya founded by my Guruji completes 39th year of its life, of crowded activity.
Born in 1896, the love of music was a hereditary gift to Pandit Krishnaraoji which found its expression in many ways since his childhood. At a tender age of ten he started participating in public concerts. When he was fifteen he commenced taking lessons in classic music from Pandit Anant Manohar Joshi and joined Gandharva Maha Vidyalaya, Bombay.
Although, Pandit Krishnaraoji was destined to shine as a lustrous star in the musical sky, destiny led him to a different direction – quite unmusical when a lesser soul would have let himself in a dull and uneventful life. It was a stroke of irony that for twelve years Pandit Krishnaraoji worked as a steno in different commercial firms, and yet he never wavered in his passionate love for music, his whole-hearted worship of Goddess Saraswati.
It was in 1920, that Pandit Krishnarao’s dreams turned into a reality. Not only he made a mark as a full-fledged musician of note, but he established at Dadar Shri Krishna Vidyalaya, a music school to spread our classical music far and wide. As one of the ways to popularise it, it is to Pandit Krishnaraoji’s credit that he was one of the first group of artists to help Bombay Municipality in arranging Indian Music concerts in different gardens for the benefit of the masses. From now on, Pandit Krishnaraoji plunged into a life completely as a musician and music teacher and scored many lawrels. He led a first group of artists to appear on the A.I.R. for the first time in India sponsored by the Indian States and Eastern Agency, Bombay; he started Prachar Sabhas in Hyderabad, Jalgaon and Wardha; his own compositions were recorded by H. M. V. and Broad-Cast Gramaphone Co. Not content with this he started branches of Krishna Vidyalaya at Girgaum and Vile-Parle during 1930-1934, where year by year, he trained students in classical music.
But God has denied the Gift of rest to a restless soul; and to serve further the noble cause of spreading classical music, Panditji made Gujarat and Saurashtra his next fields of activities. He also opened there music Schools. To win new lawrels in 1948, he toured the whole of East Africa and performed music concerts in theatres and public places in all the big towns and cities there. To-day he has to his credit about i000 concerts given in different parts of India and Africa. Out of these, there were many benefit performances whose proceeds he distributed to cultural institutions there.
Prof. Krishnaraoji has so far trained about 500 students of whom many are today professionals. He has written from time to time for about a dozen monthlies in Marathi and Gujarati and for one year he edited a Gujarati monthly `Kalanand’ devoted to music. He has to his credit some Marathi and Hindi publications. While I proudly rejoice on this happy occasion, I also add to the earnest wish of his many pupils, friends and admirers that he may be blessed.