Featuring the Singapore based musician “Tejpreet Kaur” and her devotion to her beloved “Rabab”

The beginning

I have been very fortunate for being raised in a family of music lovers. From a very young age, my siblings and I were encouraged to learn a musical instrument. In fact my brother, father and sister all play the tabla and I am the only string instrument player in the family. Music holds a very sacred place in the Sikh culture and my journey started with reciting holy hymns in the Gurdwara.

One of my biggest supporters are my mother and my paternal grandmother. They are like my Rabab managers and are a constant source of support and guidance, and at times they are also my critics, which pushes me to challenge myself and grow.

Musically inclined

When I was in primary school, I was in an ensemble, where I played handbells for four years. It was also a time when I learnt to read musical notes and began to have an understanding of Western music, all of which helped shape and influence my music today. As a teenager, I played the harmonium and along with that, I also pursued Hindustani classical vocal training and classical Indian dance (Khatak). My second instrument is the Dilruba, which I played for 5 to 6 years before picking up the Rabab.

Love at first strum with the “Rabab”

“Rabab” has a sacred place in Sikh tradition, as it was the first instrument used by Bhai Mardana, a companion of Guru Nanak. Whenever a shabad was revealed to Guru Nanak, he would sing and Bhai Mardana would play on his Rabab, and hence was known as a rababi. Interestingly, when I would occasionally hear the Rabab playing around me, it did not have any impact on me until I heard it being played on Coke Studio Pakistan. That truly changed my perception of how it sounded and I found myself drawn to the sound. I started listening to more songs that used this magical instrument and slowly but surely I found myself wanting to learn how to play it myself. Initially I didn’t own a Rabab of my own, so to learn and play, I would go to the music academy at the Gurdwara, where I took weekly classes. I remember feeling excited every day after school, to run over to the Gurdwara and get my hands on the Rabab. It almost felt like my “Pehla Pehla pyaar”. I had never experienced this kind of excitement before and I worked hard to learn more and get better at playing it.

It was 5th September 2019 when I picked up the Rabab and instantly within a few weeks of lessons with my Ustad, I fell in love with it. It was a very special moment for me. It fit, it really fit. The whole Rabab, the sound and the texture of the music was soft and sweet. My favorite raags to play are Raag Jog & Raag Miyan Ki Malhar.

I have been very fortunate to have been invited to perform live. One of my performances was in front of the former Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore for the museum exhibition’s grand opening and my second performance was at the hall of the Gurdwara. It was special for me as it was the first time that I performed at a large scale event in Singapore.

Guiding lights

The more I learnt to play, the more inspired I was by the incredible musicians around me. I found videos of a very gifted Afghani Rabab player, Ustad Homayoun Sakhi on instagram (@homayounsakhi) and what I loved about his videos is that when he played, he would constantly smile, as if being transcended through his music. Currently I am grateful for being guided by two Ustads- Ustad Jatinder Singh based in Singapore (@angadsingh1) and Ustad Bilal Khan based in Pakistan (@bilalkhanbilal_official). I take online classes with Ustad Bilal Khan and his adoration and respect for Hindustani classics is truly heartening to see. As an artist myself, I have always dreamt of peace between the two nations (India and Pakistan) and have come to believe that music transcends borders.  I feel that music bridges the gap between nations.

My dream

I feel at peace when I play the Rabab. When I am sad, it is my place of happiness. When I am homesick, it takes me home. It is my healer in times of stress. My dream is to achieve world peace through music. I envision myself performing worldwide and uniting the world through music.

To follow Tejpreet’s music on instagram: @she_rababi

This was an interview was conducted by Zareen Khan from @w2wevents

For more information & stories – email: zareen@w2wevents.co

The Yoga Experience for a first timer with Sucheta Chadha – by the Gyaan Guru

Yoga, one of the few ancient disciplines that has followers in the millions, not because Madonna swears by it but there is a higher calling for Yoga enthusiasts and after reading about it for years and joining up for group classes, I still wasn’t satisfied.

Then came along, Sucheta Chadha, a good friend turned Yoga Teacher. I have known Sucheta for 8years now and when I first met her, she was a strong headed Marketing Executive, someone who was driven and ambitious, someone I could totally relate to and respected. In the past few years, Sucheta found her true calling through Yoga, and now on meeting her, its like meeting a twin of Sucheta’s – I mean don’t get me wrong, the strong headedness still persists, but the passion and love are oozing out of her is remarkable, there is a constant smile on her face, no stressful energy and most of all, she is at peace. There is a serenity in her approach that’s very appealing. Especially to someone like me, who is constantly wired and restless.

Since, for years I had been wanting to explore Yoga and She being a Yoga Teacher, it was the universe lining up the opportunity for me and without wasting any time I signed up for a private class.

What you are about to read, is purely my personal experience, my 5 steps of learning about Yoga.

When to do Yoga

1. Yoga is ageless – You’re never too old to try out Yoga, each body type accepts yoga differently and depending on your strength, endurance and flexibility you are given space and time to learn. This was a great piece of information when I got started off.

Atmosphere

2. Yoga is one with Nature – Since, we are in Dubai with 42 degrees heat out, we chose indoors, however It was a wonderful Yoga room, that had huge glass windows letting the sun shine inside, there were potted plants, shimmering a bright green in the sun, and to top it all off, there were Sucheta’s handmade wind chimes making soft sounds and calming music running through out the room. The natural elements of nature all emit positive energy and it plays an important role, especially when meditating.

Yoga Guru - Sucheta

3. Important to Bond with Yoga teacher – Sucheta took out 15minutes to just speak to me about Yoga, and her experience as a teacher so far, it was lovely to hear the joy in her voice, each time she spoke about teaching, since sharing is a huge part of what I do, this session bonded us and I knew that I was in good hands.

Deeper Meaning

4. Yoga combines Mind, Body & Soul – This came through, when Sucheta explained all the levels of breathing and their purpose, she spoke calmly and asked me to offer love to all my body parts, this experience was like none other, once you start shutting out your mind and focusing on yourself, your Mind, Body and Soul start connecting and communicating and the positive energy started vibrating through you and all around you. I hope that all of you will experience this, it truly is blissful.

Self Love

5. Yoga is a lifestyle – A true Yogi  is compassionate towards other human beings, towards nature, towards our universe, the nature of a yogi is altruistic, a yogi wants to give back to the planet. Once you start exploring yoga, you really start learning about yourself and your choices.

With Yoga Guru

As someone who is just beginning to learn Yoga, I am grateful to the generous teachings of  my Yoga Guru Sucheta and I recommend reaching out to her if you are interested in Yoga.

Sucheta’s Contact details:-

blog link: http://mysticalyogini.blogspot.ae
LinkedIn :https://ae.linkedin.com/pub/sucheta-chadha/31/a53/126
Twitter handle : @schrixie