Tag Archives: flute

SHORT STORY: THE BANSURIWALA … FLUTIST

Copyright@shravancharitymission

There was once a Bansuriwala who used to pass through a housing society located next to a hillock at a scenic location in a megalopolis every morning playing his flute. Indeed, he was a good flute player. His melodious tunes alone made people buy his flutes and he did not have to sell them like other hawkers who went around with their loud street cries to sell their products. Every day in the morning at a particular time he used to enter the housing society playing a particular tune to announce his arrival and attract the Residents attention. Thereafter, he used to play several other songs out of his oeuvre to attract his prospects into buying his flutes. Residents of the society had got willy-nilly used to this Bansuriwala. They inadvertently used to wait for him in the morning to listen to his melodious songs. The birds and the animals who resided there, and who only understood the language of sweetness thought that the flute and the Bansuriwala were just one. They merely thought it was just the melodious voice of a human being coming out through the flute. But then they were also surprised as to why only one human being spoke so melodiously and others remained quiet. And the Bansuriwala was full of sargam and composition.

    Once it so happened that the Bansuriwala didn’t come to the society for a week when everyone started missing his melodies in their own quiet manner. The birds and the animals there, also felt lifeless and bored and thought their communication with human beings had all of a sudden stopped without any reason. They concluded with their little understanding that human beings have gone quiet just because the flute had stopped playing. Some more days passed like that but the Bansuriwala still didn’t turn up. Upon not finding him and his melody there, the birds and the animals soon withered away and stopped coming to the society.

    But what had the Bansuriwala done? The Bansuriwala had actually created a craving for the melody that emanated out of his flute which he use to play in the society. Saddened at the absence of the Bansuriwala, one day a young boy in the society took out the flute that he had purchased from the flutist and started playing it, but awkwardly. Of course, he didn’t know how to play it but he dared to make an attempt.

    This irritated the neighbours. They started complaining to the society management that the boy was disturbing their peace. But the boy was determined to continue with his endeavours. And after some persistent efforts the boy finally started playing some good melodies through his flute even when they were not up to the standards of the Bansuriwala. Slowly the complaints of the neighbours started waning when they gradually started appreciating his tunes. The boy in the meanwhile improved his flute skills significantly.

    After a few weeks an old retired person also took out his flute that he had bought from the Bansuriwala and started playing it regularly. After seeing the child and the old man playing the flute several other members of the society too started their foray with the flute that they had casually purchased from the Bansuriwala. Soon a ‘Flute Club’ was founded in the society. The club functioned every morning and evening under the tall banyan tree in the housing complex. The birds and the animals rejoiced once again. They returned when they felt more human beings have started talking to them.

    After about six months the Bansuriwala finally returned to the society. He came at his usual time in the morning and was surprised to see the ‘Flute Club’ in full flow under the huge banyan tree. The flute playing child was delighted to see him there. He ran across to welcome him. He asked him where he had vanished. The observant Bansuriwala then replied him with his ready wit saying.

    ‘Dear Child I used to come to this society regularly playing my flute. Everyone liked the way I played it and that included even birds and animals in the vicinity. But one day I sadly realised no was wanting to learn the flute even when they had bought one from me. This disappointed me. So, I thought of exploring some other housing societies in this megalopolis, where people would not only buy a flute but also play it. When I left this place months ago I considered myself a failure. Though, I had sold many flutes here I was unable to inspire anyone to learn how to play it. They only listened to what I played and kept praising me. I realised my success didn’t lie in the selling of flutes alone but in how to make these flutes play. But today, when I have returned after so many months I’m thrilled to see so many of you playing the flute in complete solidarity … ekta. This alone is my success. Flute is like God’s tongue and the songs that the flute plays are like God’s lyrics that reaches out equally to both human beings and animals. The Bansuriwala then turned around and started walking out of the society as his mission here was accomplished since he had created a Bansuriwala in the child, only to discover, another sleeping society where he still had to create a Bansuriwala to accomplish his mission.

    Moral of the story: Be the Bansuriwala of your society. Spread music which is God’s language. Encourage people to learn God’s language. Don’t just keep your flute with you, play it. Treat your tongue like your flute and play it. And finally there is a great difference between possessing an instrument and playing it to please the ambience. Remember, the lyrics of God that come out of the flute are loved and understood by one and all.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Short stories, Book reviews and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception, 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message, 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June, 15 & 20 2020; Indica, 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu, August 31 2020; Breaking Through the Chakravyuh, September 30 2020. The Questioning Spouse, October 31, 2020; Happy Days, November 15, 2020; The Karma Cycle of Paddy and Wheat, December 15,2020; Power Vs Influence, January 31, 2021; Three Refugees, March 15, 2021; Rise and Fall of Ajatashatru, March 31, 2021; Reformed Ruler, May 15, 2021; A Lasting Name, May 31, 2021; Are Animals Better Teachers?, June 16, 2021; Book Review: The Gram Swaraj, 1.7.21; Right Age for Achievements, 15.7.21; Big Things Have Small Beginnings, 15.8.21; Where is Gangaridai?, 15.9.21; Confront the Donkey Within You 30.9.21; Know Your Strengths 15.10.21; Poverty 15.11.21; Top View 30.11.21;

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CASUAL CAUSERIE- MY HOME ALONG THE COUNTRYSIDE

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By Aolla Tripathi

The cock would crow in the nearby village almost at the stroke of dawn. The chatter and chirping of the birds wafted in the air, as I would linger on my bed a little longer, listening to it for some time. There is almost a languid laziness about the whole morning scene. I would get up yawning, bleary eyed. The footfalls of the cowherd, approaching, can be clearly heard. It is mingled with the jingle of the tiny bells around the neck of the cattle. The herd is almost always accompanied by a village urchin, the nominal ‘cowboy, just the antithesis of the gun slinging gunfighter of ‘ O.K. CORRAL ‘. All he has on his body is a nicker, a nondescript stick and a flute in his hand. Swarthy, he looks unruffled and happy.
The boy would ride a buffalo or rather recline on its massive back as the herd made its way to the green countryside a little beyond our house. The cattle spread out and settle down on the verdant pasture. The whole scene affords a blissful quiet occasionally broken by the lowing of a cow or the laboured chug of a passing train clambering up a gradient. The tracks are bare and empty with no nocturnal traffic. Where do they vanish at night has always been a mystery to me much as what the ‘cowboy’ eats during his long sojourns with his cattle.
It has rained last night. The trees are still dripping and the sun is trying to break out of a leaden haze. Our good friend ‘Gungadin’ appears once more with his merry band and heads straight to the Watch Tower which has always remained unmanned, why, a riddle as tortuous as the ‘Riddle of the Sphinx”. Though intended for Security it is only poetic justice that the young ‘cowboys’ use it to keep watch over their cattle. Well, this tower serves them during the rains. On a clear sunny day they would be rather on the sleepy meadows without a care in the world. It is not long before the strains of a folk song are audible. The little group is singing. The difficult rhythm of the folk song is soon abandoned; the easier ‘Filmi’ songs are tried out. Mom is up in arms against my slow motion cameo to the morning chores. I remind her it is a holiday. I hurry with my rituals and chores while sneaking a peek at them. This entire rustic scene is soothing and gives a restful continuity to my life. Years back life was not so humdrum. There was so much variety, so much innocent pleasure: Opening the coop and feeding the chickens, fetching water from a nearby spring, stealthily eating berries and oranges from the fenced orchard. Then there would be all the time in the world to laze around near the spring watching the seasonal brook going down in all its eddies and whirls. The water used to be surprisingly warm in the mornings. We wended our way over the ridges and ledges and ere long we were at the water point.  The noisy torrent of the stream would add to the din of our impromptu singing. The ‘soprano’ would take up a new piece as suddenly he would discard a new one. Alto, tenor, bass and all would join in the fun. While all this went on someone was sure to filch our meager repast. Oh! It was great fun. All the magic of youth and joy of life was there. I wonder if you have tried filling water in a bamboo stump. It is tricky- especially if you are collecting from a stream. Having apparently filled the thing and congratulated yourself for doing a good days work, you were more likely to find the ‘container’ less than half full on return home.
But it was the small fishing trips with my dad I enjoyed most. We would, for hours by the swimming pool, be waiting for ‘Godot’, as it were. Noise was forbidden. A tongue-lashing was in store if I made the slightest sound. There would be sudden ripple, a gentle tug on the fishing line amidst a flurry of movements up would emerge the silvery. The anglers are a queer lot. I have known some who would spend a whole day waiting for a catch. Catching fresh water prawns is another thrilling corollary, meant for the experts, I believe.
My mother, one of those traditional stay-at-homes would discourage these outings and would rather that I helped her out at home. I used to sneak out on some pretext or the other. Over the hills and dales and down the vale –that is how I used to love it-a far cry from the concrete jungles where I live now.

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