Raag sarkari

Raag sarkari

Raag sarkari

“What !   do you think that I have the time to puruse my hobby or other interests. No way...”

 “Studies kill me, yaar. Where is the time for hobbies”.
“Oops ! I cannot even think of relaxing. Commuting to work and back itself sap me of energy in this city”. 

These are standard lines one often hears from the yuppies of the technolopolis. But you can find a good number of top bureaucrats in Karnataka who are not only good at their vocation but they are good musicians too
Bureaucrats, either clad in a two piece suit or khakis , are always found busy either in meetings with ministers, chairing meetings or on field visits.        Yet they have their private lives and devote time to pursue passions other than their chosen careers. Invariably these officials excel at work and in the pursuit of their off duty interests.

Learning classical music is considered as tough, time consuming and sometimes boring too. But it is not to so if you are really determined to develop a taste for it.
Take the case of senior KAS officer Muddu Mohan who is an accomplished Hindustani singer.   Mohan had all along yearned to become a civil service officer as well as a performing Hindustani musician. He has proved successful on both fronts. He is the MD of a government-owned company. He gives more than the stipulated time to his work but manages to put in a couple of hours early morning to practising raagas.
Disciple of Pt Basavaraj Rajguru
As a child he learnt the basics of music from his mother at Maski in Raichur. Later he became a disciple of Pt Basavaraj Rajguru and Dr Gangubai Hangal. Mohan has a unique way of rendering the Dasarapadas and Vachanas. He worked for nine years in and around Dharwad and this definitely helped him to learn more about Hindustani music.  He has several awards to his credit. And, he has performed in several fora in India and abroad. On top of it, he recently received a PhD for his research on contribution of Karnataka for Kirana-Gharana to Hindustani classical, from the Bangalore University.

Like any singer, he says that music brings him solace and eliminates negative emotions.  "Music is neither a ritual nor work for me. It is a way of living. I have brought out half-a-dozen cassettes. I sing old Kannada hits too" he says.  
If you think khaki and lathi do not go with art then you could be wrong. One needs to see Dileep R, clad in a silk pyjama-jubba and playing the mridanga, you will find it tough to imagine him in a police uniform. For rhythm-loving 39-year-old Dileep, playing the percussion instrument is more than a hobby. He is a performing artiste whose sojourn with Carnatic music began as a child.
"In my childhood I used to drum on my head. Now I do it on violent mob," he quips.
Music runs in his blood, thanks to his mom-cum-guru Kaveri. His brother is a flutist. He passed senior music grade exam when he was just 13 years.
He studied engineering but decided later to deal with people rather than machines. So he became Deputy Superintendent of Police and is now promoted to the rank of Superintendent of Police and Principal, Karnataka State Police Training School, Channapatna. Name any major music festival and Dileep has performed there. He was cultural ambassador of Rotary International to Germany.

Commonalities with music
Dileep is also good in the art of Konnakol (equivalent to Bowl singing). At the same time, he is the winner of the CM's gold medal for his meritorious service. He finds many commonalities between his vocation and music. "Both the fields need discipline, concentration, humility and supreme dedication. In public administration, empathy while dealing with people is required. In music, empathy is with the audience."

Does he get time to practice music? "All my free time is dedicated to music. I am still learning to play the mridangam from TAS Mani," he reveals.
It looks like BDA Commissioner Siddaiah is the most sought-after singer among bureaucrats. Recently, he stole the show at a musical nite in Central College.  He is not a classical musician but he is not a casual singer either. His mesmerising voice is best suited to sing the hit songs of Mohammed Rafi, Mukhesh and Manna Dey. "My husband was motivated to learn music from his uncle. He has a magical voice", Manjula gushes over her husband's talent.

 Dr Vemgal Narayanaswamy, as ACP, BDA Task Force has the daunting task of demolishing illegal buildings. But he finds time to sing folk songs. He also has a doctorate in folk theatre. "I have given more than 700 performances. My voice is well cultured as I have been singing for the last three decades," says the officer proudly.

Bytheway, the police officer is recipient of gold medals for his meritorious service.
Similarly IAS officers C S Kedar, Meera Saxena and IPS officer Dr D V Guruprasad are also Carnatic musicians but are not performing artistes. Gururprasad first learnt to play the violin and later switched over to singing. "I am comfortable singing with my son Sumukh and daughter Apoorva" he says.  Meera, a disciple of R K Ramakanth, regrets that she has not been able to devote time to practice music. "I am a perpetual learner.

 Learning music
When I was posted to Ramnagara 32 years ago, I began learning music as well as Urdu. My mother wants me to give more time to music so that I can unwind with it," she says.

The credit of establishing Suguma Sangeetha Parishat goes to retired KAS officer Y K Muddukrishna. He is a light music singer. He has been singing from his childhood days.

Recently Mysore University decided to give him honorary doctorate. But the Governor did not approve it. “I am pained by it. I had never sought a doctorate. I am not expecting any rewards for my service to music field”, Muddukrishna says.
Dr S C Sharma strictly does not come under the category of bureaucrats as the Vice-Chancellor of Tumkur varsity but he is an accomplished Carnatic vocalist and violinist. He has a doctorate in engineering.

He also has a DLitt from the University of Avinashalingam, Coimbatore. His research work was on contribution of D K Pattamal to Carnatic music. He makes time to give concerts.

“I find many similarities  between mathematical simulation and musical simulation. I get up at 3:30 am to practice music.I carry an electronic shruti box with me wherever I go and practice singing”.

At the end of the day every one of us has 24 hours available for work, leisure or family with not one minute more nor less.  Yet these officials prove that it is possible to pack in much more activity both at work and leisure.
What makes them different from the others? Clearly, their dedication , discipline and passion put them in a different league.    After listening to these achievers, can anyone cite the  lack of time as an excuse  not to be able to pursue off duty interests dear to their hearts?

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