My Fundays 29-07-2009

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By Rahul Sharma A Santoor exponent. He is known for his experiments with World music. His collaboration with Pianist Richard Clayderman resulted in a very popular album and several concerts AS TOLD TO V. KUMARA SWAMY
  • Published 29.07.09

I went to the Bombay Scottish School. I was always worried about my studies. My mother was very keen that I did well in class. I started learning to play the santoor when I was around 12 years old but never took it up seriously until after my Class XII exams.

I wasn’t very studious. In fact, I was rather a last-minute scrambler. Once I failed in a maths test. Too scared to show the answer script to my father and to get it signed by him, I altered the marks and asked my mother to sign it. She did, not seeing through my ruse. But the teachers found out and my father was summoned. It was very embarrassing for him. It turned out to be the first and last time that my parents ever got a complaint from my school.

I sat on the last bench but was not the naughty type, at least not in the eyes of the teachers. When I did indulge in some mischief, which wasn’t very rare, it was with friends and we made sure that it was never reported.

I was good at cricket, and was, in fact, the captain of the school team. What I didn’t like, however, was the marching practice that we had to do while preparing for the annual sports day every year. It was usually scheduled for the last period of the day and I tried to avoid it by either feigning illness or quietly scaling the boundary wall and slinking away.

Although my father toured the world for concerts, my brother and I never accompanied him as we had to go to school. But we did travel during holidays. My most memorable holidays were spent in Jammu and Kashmir, the birthplace of the santoor and also that of my father.

I fell in love with Gulmarg and Pahalgam. Having been born and brought up in Mumbai, going to Jammu and Kashmir was a dream come true for me. I remember going to Disneyland in the USA with my parents. It was a great experience, but I sorely missed my brother, who couldn’t make it for some reason I can’t remember now.

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