Esraj Story part 3

In Mittenwald we also visited a violin maker shop to buy some glue.

On the way back to Augsburg we roughly planned how to build the esraj. So we were still in "Einstein-mode" - which means planning, not working. Before, we had some really fancy design ideas; but because the time was too short, we decided to build the esraj more in the traditional design. From a picture where Sri Chinmoy was holding an esraj, we tried to get the measurements. To us it looked definitely longer than the common Indian esraj standard size -- if there is any standard :)

So we planned it 10cm longer. Later we discovered that this was not at all true, so by "mistake" our esraj became bigger and longer than any other esraj. That was just the first of many more "mistakes," which we hold responsible for the good sound.

Our friends from Sangit Sushama and Gandharva Loka, both music shops where they sell Indian instruments, supported us a great deal. Tapodhan from Gandharva Loka even gave us an old esraj to take apart. Unfortunately this one had an unpleasant sound, so we did not like to make a direct copy of it. But we are very grateful to him for our first "open esraj surgery." We really could not believe our ears. After cutting almost all the skin away, the sound was still the same! It somehow survived, which was a big surprise to the unprofessional surgeons present.

At that time, my flat was already transformed into a veritable wood workshop. Dust all over the place, and a lot of noise thanks to the machines we used. But we did not mind at all and worked every day till late in the night in happy ecstasy.

After a couple of days, the neighbors came and asked us if we also hear this constant machine noise. We remained silent, but we knew that now was the time to move somewhere else. Luckily, one student from Augsburg had a small workshop which he gladly offered to us. So we moved there.

Unfortunately, the new place was very cold, dusty and very smokey because of a wood-oven. But we were happy! Now we could work all day and night without making any problems for our neighbors. We arranged our whole life around the esraj building process. For example, if the glue had to dry for some hours and therefore we had to stop working, we went to sleep. If we were in the middle of a working process, we just continued regardless of the actual time and the hours of work we already spent.

We found ourselves drawn in a constant flow of energy, enthusiasm and an unbelievable newness thrill.