This is the second of other long due post. And I had told myself I'd do this on a Sunday morning.
A tribute to Parag Trivedi.
Parag Trivedi who?
It is commonplace today. For investment bankers to leave dollar salaries and turn chefs, for corporate honchos to live the 'social entrepreneur' dream. For monks to give up their ferrari's and engineers to make movies.
But more than ten years ago, when alternative career and life choices were not so "in", Parag took the leap and with a few like- minded people started "Sabrang" to "Demystify the Arts"
Parag was quoted .... "When I was an articled clerk at a chartered accountancy firm, I uses to scream my head off while sleeping at night," recalls Parag Trivedi, 39, who now holds classical music appreciation workshops. This is in an Life Positive interview with Suma Verghese in June 1997.
I met Parag last at an occasional (for me that is) workshop. One of those- I'm in town, it's at the Alliance - chal jaate hain, lets go- decisions taken when one is with friends. In his trademark kurta & beard- it feels like yesterday- his smile, eyes and voice. A large hurly burly looking guy, typical bombayite-when I say this I mean two people who speak the same language- it is almost as if it is a 'caste' system. And one of those instances where the person you meet is exactly as he 'sounds' or 'writes'.
Why on a sunday morning?
I thought it'd be fitting. Because for every sunday, God know how many, my day would start by tuning in to Parag Trivedi's broadcast of Sunday Morning Classics on radio. Week after week.
As a result- on all other days of the week, it can be anything else, the venkatesh suprabhat, the hanuman chalisa, gayatri mantra, stotra sumanjali or even the radio. But, sunday morning it is CD3- Vivaldi's four seasons. As I am an early riser (gotta catch that sunrise) it is my "solitude time" and does not disturb anyone else who does not wish to share my solitude. Sometimes now it does not even matter if the music does not play, because like Pavlovs dog, I have been conditioned and listen to it whenever I get the time. It is not a ritual anymore.
For many reasons. One for bringing such beauty of music and art into my life in a more meaningful manner. Two, for contribution to this mad city - in his efforts to venerate Saraswati in a city that worships and is ruled by Laxmi. In taking the classical arts to the lay person for almost eleven years.
And lastly, for a person who is no longer in our midst .
My life went into a bit of spin as it happens sometimes with more mundane priorities and by the time it came back on track, I found out that Parag had passed away in Oct 2003.
Leaving his footprints on the sands of time.
( Read the full poem by H.W. Longfellow here)
I am not good with words. Of the things I found online, is this excerpt from a Rishi Valley school newsletter which did a more detailed tribute than I have managed here. Read the whole piece if you find the time.
"India has produced many fine western classical musicians such as Zubin Mehta and Handel Manuel, but none of them took western classical music to the lay person the way Shri Parag Trivedi did. He often conducted workshops for corporate groups, in schools and in the various centers of the Max MullerBhavan’s in India. He gave his life to Sabrang, the organisation he founded to demystify the world of classical music for the layman.
In this, he had had no precursor."