Many times, it is quite difficult to evaluate the impact of work that you are doing. If one keeps throwing seeds around, the impact won’t be seen the very next day; may be it will take a decade or so to realise that the mere act of sowing seeds has transformed a barren piece of land into an intricate ecosystem.
When we meet someone for the first time and explain them the work that we try to do through Baithak Foundation, the most obvious question that we get is – What is the outcome of organising concerts and workshops in schools? How is it actually going to help the students? How is it going to support the art form?
While exposing kids to music has many immediate benefits like building sensitivity, awareness about culture, imbibing values and discipline, support to young artists etc., could there be any long term benefits as well? Can such trivial exposure to this art form affect the Course of life of a person?
To answer this question, I would like to share two incidents which happened in the last year.
In the year of September, I got a call from a Pune based mid-aged man who wanted to host a Baithak at his house during Ganpati Festival. When we reached the venue, my first question was – What promoted you to host a classical music concert and not DJ or other forms of loud music?
The answer which he gave, was eye opening. When he was a kid, his family was a patron of art and stalwarts like Pt. Ravishankar used to stay at his uncle’s place for days and perform. Though this gentleman did not have any connection with music thereafter, in the later parts of his life, he felt like he was missing this art form and should reconnect with it.
Not only this, being in the profession of audio-video equipment, he also donated a professional recorder to Baithak which we now use to document our work.
The second incident happened in a school. At present, we are working with more than 12 locations in Pune, a mix of construction sites and municipal schools. Principal of one of the schools was quite keen on having our sessions at her school. When we did first concert in her school, we saw that unlike many other schools, she had done an excellent job with entire event organisation – from better publicity of event and student interest to actual on stage arrangements.
After interacting with her, she shared that when she was in college, she used to attend Spicmacay concerts and these concerts had had a deep impact on her and she was very keen to provide same experience to her kids.
Just imagine, a college student who heard Indian Classical Music in her college days and was touched by it, the experience she had is impacting how she provides experience of Indian Classical Music to next generation of students.
We often feel that one can contribute to art only by becoming a donor or a performer. That’s so untrue; there are so many roles in this ecosystem for which we need passionate people! Whenever I see some volunteer taking notes of a concert, with an intention to convert it into a nice piece of documentation, or someone passionately preparing the stage before the concert, I feel thankful that in society, we have so many people who are touched by immense power of this art form and are honestly trying to contribute to the ecosystem in whatever manner they can.
While working, one has to believe in the circular force of life – what you do, will not immediately bounce back on you; it will follow a circular path and will meet you unexpectedly, may be after a few decades!