Performing in Deeg, Rajasthan (Video)

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On my first real concert tour of India in 2016, my great friend and mentor, Suraj Nirwan, invited me to accompany him to a performance at a Gaushala in remote Deeg, Rajasthan, a few hours south of Delhi. This was an amazing experience as I was allowed to ‘open’ for the main act at the festival, a great sitarist by the name of Dr. Gopal Krishan Shah. In this video, I’m performing Raga Yaman, the same composition played on my new album.

A gaushala, by definition is: an Indian shelter for homeless or unwanted cattle that often also serves as a center for breed improvement and for study of bovine nutrition and welfare.

So in addition to the huge festival stage and tent, the grounds were full of cows and barns with open sides for them to rest inside. The cows themselves were resplendent shining white and all looked to be very well taken care of. Part of the message behind the event was to promote the use of Indian cows for dairy over importing foreign cows. It is said that the particular breeds of cow in India create more nutritious and digestable milk and that they have much less of an environmental impact than foreign cows due to their being endemic to the region. (More info about Desi cows)

At the end of the concert, I received the blessing of the Swami presiding over the festivities and a beautiful hand-woven wool shawl. Since this concert, I saw many doors open for me performing throughout India. I believe that it has to do with the blessing I received and so have since stopped eating beef.

After dinner, Suraj, Gopal-ji and I took a walk through the forested hills outside of the gaushala gates. The great calm, overall quiet and fresh air were welcome coming from Delhi. The three of us agreed that this concert had been an amazing experience, one that we would not soon forget.

 

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