Panditji : As I know him

by Shri Hirabhai Thaker, B. A. (Hons.)

To speak about Panditji is to speak about a devotee of Music: Tendulkar’s approach and application to music is that of a Devotee going to worship his beloved deity with unflinching faith. His faith and love for this living art are boundless. This dedication of life for the music and in the cause of Music has been the ruling passion of his life. His is a firm belief that this art which is akin to Yoga or Sadhana to him can never be acquired thoroughly in the course of one life; that is too short a span of human existence. This explains why Panditji at this age when many of his colleagues would prefer to retire and be left alone-is still devoting several hours of the day in the practice of this fine art-that is music.

With the march of years, the “Vocal Chords may be aging. That is but natural. But the technique is being perfected and the loss in so called lack of delicacies of modulation is amply compensated by the mastery of technique that this ever-green pupil of music has acquired.

met Panditji as a colleague in Sheth C. N. Vidyavihar more than 20 years ago. Panditji has to-day the same dignified demenour as he was then having. The weathering effect of years that have gone by is visible to close observers but it has not withered his amicable smile nor the sincerity of purpose. Panditji can never conceive of one thing, speak another and act on a third even though you may try to tutor or prompt him.

Devotees of fine arts cannot very readily acquire standards of material wealth unless they prefer to be mercenary and stoop to vulgar tastes. With all calamities that Tendulkar had to face in life he has not even once done anything that will lower him down in his own esteem, much less that of the public.

There are many students of Panditji and a few of them like Arvindbhai still continue to knock the doors of the shrine of Orpheus. am one of those slow pupils who learnt few songs under him. wish had learnt more. These few songs – mostly Bhajanas – are still an invaluable property with me; which to put humbly shall not be prepared to exchange for silver or gold. And when remember how he taught us. There was teaching no doubt, but the rigour of a task master or the ego that goes with such Ustad was absolutely conspicuous by its absence. Instead his teaching was a holy communion which he shared with us.

He has enlightened his pupils and entertained the Bombay Public by his public performances in halls and gardens. Under Sheth Nanjibhai’s Patronage, he has carried the message of Music to countries overseas, and whosoever has heard him, remembers him and his tunes. Like Wordsworth’s (Daffadils’ these songs flash upon their inward eye and make for pure bliss (sib) which is a rich and rewarding experience by itself. Krishnarao Tendulkar has lived a busy and fruitful life. Money he has not minted because that was never his ambition. With a small cultivated flourish for court manners he could have secured for himself a substantial amount of currency notes. Instead he has enriched himself with the milk of human kindness, and spread the message of music for one and all in India and abroad. I wish hima long and indefatigable life with excellent health to acquire greater heights in pursuit of this immortal art, which has been our proud heritage from times immemorial. Let each dawn bring him more splendour and bigger halo imparting the divinity of music to his restless soul which experiences repose nowhere but in music alone .

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