Light-hearted Conversations with Sri Sathya Sai…

Thursday, March 8, 2001 

On the occasion of the Board Meeting of Sri Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music, a devotional music programme was offered to Bhagavan by the renowned Hindustani music maestro, Padma Vibhushan Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, the Mridangam maestro Professor Yella Venkateswara Rao and Carnatic classical musician, Dr. Nookala Chinna Sathyanarayana, in Sai Kulwant Hall at 4.30 pm. After the eveing interview, Swami came to the Ganesh portico. The stage was set ready with microphones for this evening’s music concert. Seeing the stage ready… 

Swami : (Joking to Prof Anil Kumar) Are these mics, for you to sing? (Swami said that the musicians were appreciating our Music College and that they would like to teach there. Swami saw that a carpet was spread, with a speaker and a fan kept on it.) Is this a loudspeaker? Is this place kept for Me to sit? I am not sitting there! (To Prof. Anil Kumar) You go and sit there. (Swami told him to get ready for announcing the evening’s programme. He had already written down the announcement. He went near Swami and read out the announcement in a low tone. About the Mrindangam artist) Once, he had played the Mrindangam for 38 hours continuously without a break. 

Prof. A. K. : Swami, is Bhimsen Joshi going to sing first? 

Swami : (Joking) No, Anil Kumar is going to sing first! If you sing, all will go away. 

Prof. A. K. : (Smiling) So, I will sing at the end, Swami. 

Swami said that the regular maintenance of the drinking water supply project undertaken by the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, which is now handed over to the Government, is not being looked after properly. Then, Swami directed Prof. Anil Kumar to go to first block for some purpose. Swami observed that he went in with his back stooped. 

Swami : (To a Teacher) How old is he now? Is he retired? 

Teacher : Swami, 58 years. He has retired. 

Swami : He is bending his back. One should be straight. My back is not bent. Is it like that? 

Teacher : No, Swami. 

Swami : Boys too sit with their back bent. (Since it was sultry, Swami directed the shutter on the top of the Sai Kulwant Hall to be opened to let in fresh air. Observing that, Swami jokingly told Prof. Anil Kumar) Physics problem. You Bioscience, go (to solve it). It has got stuck. 

Prof. A. K. : (Mentioning a teacher’s name) Swami, his car is also like that. He parks it in front of my house. I hear the engine sound, but it does not start. 
(Swami laughed.) 

Swami : Is it a second hand car? (Then with a smile) Kasturi (the late biographer of Swami) used to have a car. He bought it for a cheap price of Rs.5,000. While going to the office, one had to push it from home till office. On the way back, one had to push it from office till home. (Everyone laughed.The shutter above was opened.) For music programme, it should be closed. (The opened shutter let the sunlight in, which fell on the students sitting on the third block. Seeing them) Sunlight is falling on the boys, close it. (Swami sent word for it to be closed. By then, the Primary School students started assembling.) Ah! Primary School has come. (Swami was waiting for the Primary School children to come. They were coming in a proper order. Appreciating their discipline) They always come in line. 

At 4.30 pm, there were three programmes by the aforementioned artists. Swami felicitated them by putting silk Angavastram on their shoulders. They also took photographs with Swami. After Aarti, Swami retired to the Poornachandra residence. 

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