Pandit Bhavani Prasad Shukla leaned on his cane and got out of the car. His daughter Shivangi held his hand. They slowly made their way to the auditorium.

Everyone around looked at both of them as if they were aliens from another planet. He was the only elderly person in the crowd of hip youngsters. And why not? It was a rock concert that was about to start.

Pandit Shukla felt out of place here. No one dressed like him or looked like him. With his dhoti-kurta attire with a sandalwood tilak on his forehead, he stood out like a sore thumb among kids half his age with spiked, coloured hair and torn jeans. But, he walked on, because he had promised Shivangi just this once.

Pandit Bhavani Prasad Shukla belonged to a family of classical Hindustani style of musicians with a continuous line of musicians for 5 generations. Even at the age of 70, he still did his riyaz (practice) daily and took classes for 2-3 hours for students. He performed at concerts with Shivangi and other students.

He was the guru to his son and daughter too. Though Shivangi was still with him, but Aditya Narayan was not. Aditya learnt the traditional classical music from Pandit Shukla and then 2 years back decided to change tracks completely and went into rock music.

Pandit Shukla cut off all ties with his son after this. Rock music was everything that Panditji hated. In his mind, it was not music. It went against all the traditions when Aditya went in that direction. He went so far as to say that Aditya was a disgrace to the family.

Aditya went on to form a rock band and called it Kshitij. According to Shivangi and the newspapers, Kshitij was gaining popularity all over the country and even abroad. Today was a live performance by this band and Shivangi brought Panditji.

“Adi” “Aaadi” “Aaaadi” the crowd chanted.

“Adi is our Aditya babuji”, said Shivangi.

“Hmm” replied Panditji, unimpressed.

The concert began. It was nothing like how Panditji had envisaged. The fast pace, the guitar, the drums and Adi’s singing came together in a beautiful way. Aditya blended western and Hindustani classical music in such a pleasing way that everyone, including Shivangi were swaying to the music. Panditji resisted as long as he could and then finally succumbed to the pull of music. He was drawn in and soon he too was enjoying the concert.

When they came out, he had a serene smile on his face and said to Shivangi, “Aditya is a pea from the pod that we come from, albeit a slightly different pea! But the same pod nonetheless”


I’m writing bravely for Write Tribe festival of Words of March 2019
Today’s prompts are the photo above and the word “Serenity”.

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