‘I found out that I was the only one who could explain our music, give a comparative idea of Western and Indian music’
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But did he figure out early enough that he had a star in his hands and did he tell you that?
Well, When we were touring… you know I went out when I was about 10 years old...
Yes, to Europe with your brother to dance…
Baba toured with us for one year when I was 15 and that time he had already started teaching me and I was more of a dancer. I used to fiddle with all the different instruments. But he said do one thing. He said that ek saadhe sab saadhe, sab saadhe sab jaye, so you know that was…
Yes, so focus on one thing at a time instead of doing too many things at the same time.
Jack of all trades and master of none. So, it took me one year. Because after one year he left and came back to India and me and my brother were still touring with the war and all till 1938. But by then his words and whatever I learnt had such importance that I did not want to become a dancer, which my brother wanted me to.
Right. Uday Shankar…
He wanted me to take over his work, you know. So I decided to go to Baba. So from 1938 for the next seven and a half years I was there.
Also you already had a glamorous life in Europe…Everybody in France would dote on you.
Absolutely. By 18, you know, I saw it all, I did it all. But he changed everything, you know.
18 to 90… there has been nothing to stop you... Seeing it all and doing it all. So you sacrificed all that to come to a tiny place like Maihar?