Esraj Story part 10
After putting the finishing touches on the instrument by optimizing the jawari, we immediately packed it in its case and ran over to the meditation room. By that time it was afternoon. We went straight to Sri Chinmoy, who was eagerly awaiting the instrument. "Oh, very light, very light," he said even before he took it in his own hands. Sri Chinmoy had asked us to build a light esraj, but until that moment we actually did not know how light is light. So we were very happy.
Then Sri Chinmoy started to play. "Sound is excellent and I mean it, excellent, excellent. But I have problems with my finger. The string is very thin." Sri Chinmoy continued playing. "It is melting my heart like anything! The sound I like very much but I am afraid of my finger! ... Excellent, excellent, excellent, but what shall I do, what shall I do?"
We suggested putting on a thicker string. Sri Chinmoy agreed.
I ran back to our room, took a thicker string, and we immediately changed the string. Now the sound was really terrible. We could not believe our ears. It was like the instrument was built for this thinner string. We were afraid to show the instrument in this condition, but Sri Chinmoy was already calling for it. After he just played one single note he immediately asked for the first string. We were very relieved to come back to the original string. The sound was a million times better.
That evening there was a function, with many people in attendance. After the program, Sri Chinmoy asked us to bring the instrument. We did so and Sri Chinmoy performed a spontaneous esraj concert. Needless to say, he transported us directly to heaven with his sweet delicate melodies.
In the middle of the concert, something very amusing happened. Sri Chinmoy played a song with very high notes. When he finally reached the highest note there were no more frets. Sri Chinmoy slid his finger to that position and turned his head towards us. Very cutely he smiled to us from the corner of his eye, like he was saying "Hey boys! Is there not something missing?" This was such a sweet moment. Actually we had counted the frets in an old esraj picture. We did not know that Sri Chinmoy nowadays uses a few more frets.
After this breathtaking performance Sri Chinmoy said: "Excellent, excellent, excellent!" A thunderous applause followed. When we reached the back of the hall, Sri Chinmoy started talking again. "The sound is melting my heart, so sweet, so delicate, so melodious... I enjoyed it immensely."
Later on, Sri Chinmoy told us that this esraj which he now calls the German esraj is his absolute favorite instrument among all his instruments.
Thank you, Sri Chinmoy for all these experiences, and for the opportunity to be a part of this divine game. Most of the time we felt such a strong flow of light, inspiration and energy. Words are definitely not enough to express our deep gratitude.