I always had a ‘wow’ moment from the listeners, when I used to tell them, “My mother has a twin sister!”. To add up to this, I used to bowl the next bouncer, “..and my Mausi also stays in Aurangabad!!”. The listener used to be astonished by now, and used to ask the only possible question, “Where?”, and I used to proudly tell him/her, “Have you seen the famous ‘Thatte Haud‘, on the way to Bibi ka Maqbara?, well that’s where she stays!”.
Some new friends in the colony were quite aloof. They used to pass from the road in front of my house, but never came home to play! We tried calling them, and saw them hurriedly bicycle away! Finally, one day I asked him, “Why don’t you come to my courtyard to play? We all have such a nice time!”. He sheepishly replied, “Your mom teaches in my school, therefore I am afraid of entering your house!!”. I laughed louder, and explained, “The teacher in your school, is my Mausi, and not my Mom!”. He seemed convinced, however, took couple of weeks to believe me!! These and many other experiences, were my early memories of having my mother’s twin sister in the same city! In addition, there were many other unforgettable experiences!
My mother (Meera Sahasrabudhe) and my Maushi (Anagha Thatte), both of them have a lot of things common, and the most important of them all is their passion for music! Today, as they entered their 70th year, music still remains very much as a passion for them! Both of them have enrolled themselves for a music class by well known classical singer, Vidushi Shubhada Paradkar. They also snatch out every possible moment for the riyaaz!
Hardship is another common factor for both of them! I remember, the days when I studied in the arts school, and the timing was from 9 am – 4 pm. Once a week, I used to visit Mukta Maushi (her pet name), so that I can accompany her on the tabla. Off course, it used to be followed by a nice snack, and meeting my cousins over a cup of tea! I vividly remember, how her day started very early at 5 am, to cook and catch the bus at 7:15 am along with her daughters (who were in the same school). It wasn’t easy for her to spare the time and energy for the ever demanding hindustani classical music, but she managed this balancing act beautifully, all this while!
Although, my mother wasn’t working outside, our house was more than a full time (and many a times, a thankless) job! With visitors mobbing the place all the time in the day, all the days in a week, month and years, her job had NO timings! The saving grace was my grandfather (Nana), who ALWAYS insisted on her riyaaz! He used to often tell her that, “This cooking and serving is going to be forever, just get the tanpura, out of the cover, and start the riyaaz“. I remember visiting Nevasa (small village near Aurangabad, where my father was posted), with my grandfather, just because he used to encourage my mother’s music!
Both are the official singers at the All India Radio, Aurangabad, and strive to present better every time they are invited for the performance!
On their 69th birthday, I wish them all the happiness, good health, and a life full of music!!
(To be continued)