Blind Music Teacher
By Dr. Sunil Ji Garg on 29-01-2014
He was completely blind. From all beauty standards, he was truly ugly. He was a Muslim. Forty years back, it was difficult for a conservative Hindu family like ours to keep a home tutor like him to teach music to a young girl, who happened to be my elder sister. He had been recommended by the dance teacher of my sister, thus he was called. He played some tunes on the harmonium and he was an instant hit. My grandmother also agreed to keep him as a home tutor, as he was a real master of his art.
The classes started. I, being the younger brother, also used to sit beside my sister. These were the instructions of my parents. I could understand the motive of such instructions only when I grew up. He used to play the harmonium at an incredible speed by using four fingers at a time. This in itself was an amazing experience for me. He started teaching some traditional raga songs to my sister. Though, I was not his official student, I still learned a few tunes. While he played the tunes, I always wondered that he was probably not using his brain for playing the tunes. The time sound waves took to reach his ear was probably much higher than the time he was able to play the next note. I felt as if, his fingers themselves had the memory required to play the tunes. Later, I learned the concept of reflex action in my biology classes. I always wondered whether music can also be played using the reflex action phenomenon.
Today I can also play the keyboard at a reasonably fast pace. I strongly feel that the reflexes required to play music are not always coming from our brain. They are some well practiced reactions of the fingers, which automatically move to the next key on the keyboard organ. These reactions are probably stored somewhere inside our fingers. When I apply the same principles to human reactions to certain circumstances, I feel that our non-verbal reactions and behavioral patterns are also governed by some well practiced reactions of the body.
I have seen a very senior person in a serious business meeting, getting up and killing mosquitoes around, just out of habit. All of this brings me nearer to the understanding of the importance of right “Sanskaars” or habits that we give to our children from the very beginning. Probably we want them to tune their entire body along with their minds to the right chords. The purpose is that even the non-verbal, habitual behaviour and reactions should be right.
About The Author
Dr. Sunil Ji Garg, presently Managing Director of Sunmitra Education, Lucknow, is a holistic healer, writer, social activist, scientist and individuality development trainer, who is noted for his commendable contributions in Data-Communication, Software Engineering and Multimedia.