HARI PRASAD CHAURASIA flautist
It's been a long journey. As a child, I loved music, but my father, a wrestler, wanted me to follow in his footsteps. So I wrestled, and practised music on the sly in somebody else's house. I chose the flute because the sound of bamboo is close to nature, and I love nature. I got a job as a steno in Allahabad. I did this for a while and then joined All India Radio. I was transferred to Bombay, where I began to perform. Later, I quit AIR and here I am. Life has been kind-I get as much as I need. The rest I give to my family, and try to contribute as much as pos- sible to social causes. Everybody loves money. But believe me, I have little to do with it. I'm no great spender. We Indians have simple lifestyles, and I am no exception. I spend mainly on basics like food and clothes. I love paan and sweets, though I've had to cut down considerably because of diabetes. The other things I need money for are conveyance, and to pay my tabla player.
I think if one is too involved with money, it becomes a nasha, an addiction. That makes people lose sight of its purpose. They are so busy chasing it that they no longer have the time to enjoy it. At the end of the day, someone else enjoys it. I don't think it's right to focus all one's energy on multiplying one's money. I don't invest in stocks. The stock market is a dizzy place. I think that kind of volatility disturbs one's peace of niind. I prefer to play safe, keep my money in the bank and give it to my family. It has long been my dream to build a gurukul as a monument to the guru-shishya tradition, and to keep it alive. I have invested a lot of my time, effort and money in Brindavan, my gurukul in juhu, Mumbai. Brindayan will be ready by next year. I want people to come here. The students will be in my care, and I will pay all their expenses. It will be more than a home to them. They will stay there and study music. Through this project, I believe I am carry- ing the message of Lord Krishna to the world. My advice to readers is: take care of your money, and your money will take care of you.