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Musical Sojourn of a Mother-Son Duo: Together They Learn and Make Music

2016-batch IP&TAFS officer Gunjan Mishra is fulfilling his mother’s dream by learning classical music with her They together make music videos and upload these on their YouTube channel The officer recently represented Gujarat in the All India Civil Services Music, Dance and Short Play competition held in Agartala
Indian Masterminds Stories

Mr. Gunjan Mishra, a 2016-batch Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts & Finance Service (IP&TAFS) officer, is these days fulfilling his 57-year-old mother’s dream of learning music. He, too, joins her in learning classical music, and the best part is, both of them even do jam session at midnight. The musically charged up mother-son duo also makes music videos and uploads these on their YouTube channel.

Speaking to Indian Masterminds, Mr. Gunjan Mishra, who is currently posted as Joint Controller in the Department of Telecom, Ahmedabad, shared about the musical journey that he and his mother have embarked upon.

MUSICAL JOURNEY

There was always a musical environment in Mr. Mishra’s house. His mother had been learning classical music since she was a child – she had learned vocals as well as the harmonium. She used to sing in All India Radio Bhagalpur, Bihar. However, she could not pursue it further and had to give it up midway to focus solely on bringing up her sons – Mr. Mishra and his elder brother, Mr. Chandan Mishra, who is Assistant Professor in Delhi University.

Mr. Gunjan Mishra’s mother at the centre singing and playing harmonium sometime around 1975

“After a certain age, I and my brother started feeling bad that our mother could not pursue her hobby because of us. So, after I acquired my current position in Ahmedabad and got well settled, I called her up and told her that we will learn music together now. So, we both are learning classical music from Ms. Krutiben Panchal, an accomplished Classical Music teacher and student in Ahmedabad. If either of us is not in the city, then we make it a point to join the class online. Both of us are in the 4th year of a 7-year Visharad course in Indian Classical Music,” Mr. Mishra said.

Owing to loads of office work on his plate, he barely gets time to practice. “But whenever I get time, I make sure that we do it. During my foundation course and my probation period, I performed on whatever stages I could get. My mother, too, had done some stage performances earlier,” he shared.

JAM SESSIONS AT HOME

Mr. Mishra has set up a small home studio equipped with studio microphones. Here, he does jam sessions with his mother whenever both get time.

“I have a one-and-a-half-year old kid, Reyansh. So, generally, when my kid is awake, it is difficult to practice. So, we practice after he sleeps. We continue our session from 11 pm to 3 am. We have together made many music videos also, and posted these on our YouTube channel. We keep doing something new in classical music,” he said. 

Gunjan Mishra with his wife, IRS-IT officer Shruti Shejole, and son Reyansh

Also, as Mr. Gunjan is the Joint Controller in the O/o Controller of Communication Accounts , Department of Telecom, and has lots of responsibilities in office, he simply cannot manage time during the day for jamming. He does some riyaaz in the morning, so that during the night, they could make some concrete music, instead of practising. “Even if I am awake till 4 am doing something related to music, I still wake up fresh in the morning, because I had stayed up late in the night doing something I love a lot,” Mr. Mishra said.

PLAYBACK SINGING DREAM

Sharing about his dream to become a playback singer some day, he said that he faces some limitations because his is in a government job, but, nevertheless, his first target is to finish the classical training so that he can get closer to his goal. “Yes, I definitely dream of the day when I would be able to sing with my mother in any sort of small project. This will be the biggest victory I could get in life. But, we have miles to go, still. I always dreamt that my mother who sacrificed her hobby for us should get back to it, and I am happy that she is doing it finally,” he said.

WIFE’S SUPPORT

Mr. Mishra said that his wife, IRS-IT officer Shruti Shejole of 2016 batch, who is a Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax in Ahmedabad, has been supportive all throughout. Ms. Shejole is a Bharat Natyam dancer herself. “Our kid is very small and taking care of the kid along with office work is quite difficult. Pursuing music or the jamming sessions at midnight would not be possible for me without the kind of support that I get from my wife,” he said.

CIVIL SERVICES MUSIC, DANCE & SHORT PLAY COMPETITION

He went to attend the All India Civil Services Music, Dance and Short Play competition in Agartala, and during that time, his wife handled home, kid, and work alone, leaving him to focus on the event that is taking place from the last two years.

Mr. Mishra represented RSB Ahmedabad and presented a bhajan that he has been hearing since his childhood, one that is very close to his heart. He said, “Although, I could not win any prize, I was pretty amazed by the level of performances there. That kind of level is quite difficult to achieve with a full-time job. I made videos to share with my mother, so that we could later analyze what kind of practice we need to do further to improve our performances.”

Performing at AICS Music, Dance and Short Play Competition in Agartala

Artists like Mr. Riddhish Vora, tabla player, and Mr. Harshit Acharya, keyboard player, in Ahmedabad, helped him a lot in further refining his bhajan performance.


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