Gurumantra: Bring out the inner self!

Teachers go an extra mile with their students as they hope and wish them to take their legacy forward

By S Farah Rizvi

PUBLISHED ON SEP 04, 2021 06:09 PM IST

Teachers go an extra mile with their students as they hope and wish them to take their legacy forward. On the occasion of Teachers’ Day, we spoke to a few renowned gurus from the state capital who are celebrated for their art and asked them what is it that they wish their students to inherit from them and pass it on to the next generation.

Syed Shamshur Rehman ‘Kalashree’, disciple of Padma Bhushan awardee Saroja Vaidyanathan, has learnt from his guru to be unique in your craft and that’s what he wants his disciples to inherit. “Guruji is from Thanjavur Gharana and for eight years I have stayed with her leaning the traditional form and am still learning. I tell my students, who are learning under guru-shishya parampara and are from Lucknow, UP and even abroad, that focus on one dance form and learning never ends. Guruji says to have a unique style within the framework and that’s what I wish my shishyas to follow,” says the Bharatnatyam exponent.

Sharing his journey as teacher, celebrated artist and former principal of Lucknow College of Arts, JK Agarwal, says “As a teacher, I have always believed that if you have questions then surely answers are there too. The only thing required is to bring alive the teacher in you. I can be a mentor and a guide; I can show them the way but ultimately it’s their own vision towards the art that has to reflect. So for me, the eventual guru is our inner self that we need to bring to the fore.”

He adds, “I feel absolutely blessed that I have had students that have not only learnt from me but also taught me a lot in return. When their work has no reflection of my art, I feel delighted that eventually I was successful in carving an artist out of them who has individuality of his own,” he adds.

City-based tabla maestro Pt Ravinath Mishra wishes that whatever knowledge and learning he has given to his students they take it forward to generations to come. “Music as an art needs to be celebrated throughout life and this is what I have always passed on to all my disciples. Also, I will consider myself lucky if someday I get to hear that my students are counted among the true achievers in the world of music. For me, my Guru has been next to God and this sums it up for me: ‘Priya saari mit gyi liya jo guru ka naam, gajab kripa guru aapki hriday base prabhu naam’,” he says.

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