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Hello, Universe … Listen to the Flute!

Hello Universe ... Listen to the FluteThe flute is the true magical rod that changes all it touches in the inward world; an enchanter’s wand at which the secret depths of the soul open. The inward world is the true world…..like the moonlight that shines into our hearts.

By Nazarul Islam

“As one lamp lights another, nor grows less, so nobleness enkindleth nobleness” The immortal lines of American poet James Russel Lowell never fail to glow in mind—more so, when one comes across examples of human nobility and kindness.

One such unforgettable person was a music teacher—a flute master, who was running his classes in a rented room despite being an excellent flautist in classical style, equaling in caliber to any of the contemporary august performers. In the days where mass communication and internet were not a parcel of lifestyle, the flute master was less than fortunate, in making a big name. Among the five of us who were his pupils in the early 1960s there was a polio-stricken young man from a modest background who had to be carried by an escort to the class.

This pupil was the most devoted among us since he was determined to acquire enough magic and proficiency to join a professional orchestra. Notwithstanding his own acute financial problems, our music master took only one rupee from him as a token monthly fee!

Despite his remarkable progress in learning the nuances of playing the flute in the course of about three years, this musical-mate of ours was extremely conscious of his physical disability, which manifested itself into stage fright. Our master, however, had already worked out a remedy.

During one of the Eid celebrations, our master managed to get a good slot for this pupil. That memorable evening the kind guru accompanied him to the stage and after seating him before the mike, himself sat in the side wing poised with his own flute. As the curtain parted, the fingers of the pupil began playing nervously, producing a rather shaky off-tune note of the popular raag ‘Hamsananda’.

But lo! Before it could be perceived by the vast audience, the correcting note rang out instantly with a resonating melody from the master’s flute, which seemed to have a magic effect of dissipating the diffidence that had engulfed the nervous artist!

And from here onwards it was a flawless and soulful rendition of three popular keerthanas, laced with subtle touches that could only be produced by a naturally gifted player. Profuse tears of joy and gratitude flowed from the eyes of the excited youngster as he ended his maiden performance with a flourish.

As if the blessings of his benevolent guru had taken effect from that very moment, this newly born professional player was soon absorbed as a regular flautist in a well-known orchestra group of the city, which later facilitated his joining a famous film production unit in Kolkata.

The flute is the true magical rod that changes all it touches in the inward world; an enchanter’s wand at which the secret depths of the soul open. The inward world is the true world…..like the moonlight that shines into our hearts.

I still feel that the flute of the Pied Piper of Hamelin has never left us, and continues to hover like a restless ghost. It is essential that we train our ears to detect evil notes, from the music that reaches our hearts. Real music is soothing, that strikes our souls to provide true happiness.

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About the Author

Nazarul IslamThe Bengal-born writer is a senior educationist based in USA. He writes for Sindh Courier and the newspapers of Bangladesh, India and America.
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