Today, if you head to the NCPA, you could experience the simplicity and dedication of a bunch of 37 children, aged between seven and 14, can bring to Indian classical singing.
Gurukul, a performance which aims to honour the guru-shishya tradition, will have children — both trained and untrained in Indian classical music —sing ragas such as Bihag, Bhairavi, Parmeshwari, Bhupali and Yaman, among others. Sisters Kamakshi and Vishala Khurana, aged 25 and 23 respectively, say they have been trainining kids in the ragas since the past three months. “We began doing classical singing workshops with children around three years ago.
Now, we thought it was time to take it a step further,” says Kamakshi.
The training, she adds, was as much about building an intimate bond with children as it was about singing. “Initially, because not every child was professionally trained, we had hits and misses, and children went back home with sad faces. Then, we began baking and cooking for them, and then introducing them to music. I think it brought us all closer,” she says.
Fourteen-year-old Hiral Patel, who has been learning to play the flute since she was four, and began learning vocals three years ago, says she’s most excited to sing the Raga Yaman.
“Most ragas are either too low or high in their pitch. But Raga Yaman covers the entire range—it starts off on a low pitch, but only goes higher then on. I enjoy the range it provides me with, and the challenge in the process,” she says.