I was born in Hyderabad (Sind) but my childhood was spent in Lahore .
(Youngest in the Photo)
Our neighbors were Bengalis who were extremely fond of Music.Every evening the Sarkars would meet and sing together.Across the window when they saw me,they would ask me to come over and join them/
They would often take me to Bengali M ovies. I still remember seeing Vidyapati
In Bengali. I was highly impressed by the music of the film/
This is how I was introduced to world of Music Slowly I took to singing.
When my father saw this he went and bought a small harmonium for me. The price he paid was only 1O rupees. He was very fond of Music and could play Sitar.
One of our Bengali neighbours called Deemi ( B.C.Dutt ) was also a badminton player . He trained me well and I got the All India Junior’s Title in 1943 in Badminton.
In \ 1943 we shifted to Bombay . I joined St. Xavier's College and Graduated after 4 Years.
I started searching for a Bengali teacher and was fortunate enough to find J.K.Banerjee who was fondly called Kakajee by us all. I have no words to describe his since ri ty .
At every note he would make us sing again and again until our note was nearly in tune.He tried very hard to make me sing in tune but alas ! he failed for no fault of his.
At this juncture I was suddenly attracted to Classical Music and started learning from Mahadev Mishra for some time,
Afterwards I the good luck to learn Classical Music from Pt. Krishnarao Chonkar who had worked with the legendary Bal Ghandharava for 3O years on the stage.When I told him that I wanted to learn Rhythms from him along with singing he was highly amused but agreed to give it a try. Surely he must have observed my colourful singing and was probably relieved at my request.
He was shocked to observe that I could sing perfectly in Taals like 9 beats,11 beats,13 beats and 15 beats but would fumble in simple Taals like 6 , 8 and 16 beats.
So one day when I requested him to record all the 2O basic Taals against 2O Raagas ( 2 from each of 1O Thhats )he put his foot down on the project saying that no one would be crazy to buy such a cassette
.But eventually when I convinced him that this cassette would work like a Dictionary of Indian Music he agreed . For this project he roped in Shridhar Padhye on Tabla, and Baban Manjrekar on H armonium .
Thus our first cassette Raag Sargam aur Taal was made which has until today sold in thousand s.
Eventually we produced 15 other cassettes , with 2O basic Rhythms or at least 12 of them on each of them
On Tabla we recorded 52 rhythms .
On Pakhawaj.we recorded 37 Rhythms.
Our main programmes in this set of 16 are Raag Sargam aur Taal ,Gayaki Raag aur Taal , Vol . I – II, Traditional ThumrisVol. I- II , and Saaz Raag aur Taal VolI-II
Shruti Sadolikar , Shridhar Padhye ,Arjun Shejwal and of course Pandit Krishnarao Chonkar have been the main pillars.
I am selling these as Chandiramani’s Music of India Series and it also includes Karnataka music : Vocal, drums,instruments, and side rhythms.
Simultaneously I started to learn singing from the famous music director Bulo.C.Rani who had given Music for 85 pictures and is still remembered for his famous qawali ( Humein to loot liya husun walon ne) and the music of Jogin..
But somehow I was more interested in composing than singing.‘
So one day, I said to him ,I have composed one Bhajan. Would you like to listen.’
Being a very friendly and a noble soul he said, ‘ okay.’
I stil remember singing Guru Nanak’s Thakur tum sarnai,in Taal Dhamar which was eventually sung by Shruti Sadolikar with Arjun Shejwal on Pakhawaj
He was very impressed and said, ’With your classical Music background I suggest you switch over to composing .’
I said, Are you tired of teaching me to sing that you want to push me in composing ?.’
He said, ‘ I think you have a fascination for Rhythms and compostion. Combine the two and I will help and guide you. Besides as grows old,one’s singing power decreases but not the power of composition.’
Until today , I enjoy composing Bhajan s and Ghazals and Sindhi music in different Taals with a classical background. And in at least in12 Rhythms
I have made a cassette with 19 Taals in Sindhi music. Hindi Bhajans in 12 Taals and Ghazals in 12 Taals also.
I am grateful to Kamla Jhang iani who encouraged me and sung my first composition in Jhap Taal L yrics by Sadhu Vaswani .
.Bulaji suggested that she should sing the same composition in 6 beatsinstead but she declined to do so and said, ‘I prefer to sing in the original Jhap Taal,;’
That gave me a very good boost.
Afterwards there was no turning back. I am fortunate that singers like Nirmala Aroon , Kavita Krishnamurti, Shruti Sadolikar, Usha Amonkar,Ghanshyam Vaswani and Madhu Shehri have sung my compositions
The most difficult composition has been sung in two Rhythms interlinked in the same song by Ghanshyam Vaswani with Arjun Shejwal on Pakhawaj.
In between I went to Germany for training in Chemicals,
I was indeed impressed to see their progress on all fronts.
So when I came back, I started learning German from Prof Dr S.B.Hudlikar ( Germany )who was a Indologist and has written many books in English German and Ma rathi.
Here also I could not concentrate on learning the Language and its Grammer but was very fond of translating to German with the help of dictionaries.
When I told the Prof, that I wanted to do some translation along with learning the grammer and the language , he was taken a back but being another kind soul, agreed to help me with my whim/.
One day while correcting my translation ,he said, ‘,It is a pity that Germans are translating our Shastras into German but we are doing nothing about it.’
Panchatantra was first published in 1481 in Germany .
So I said, Why do we not attempt such a venture ? Let us try with our ancient classic Panchatantra itself .’
He was very skeptic about it but agreed to try
Every morning he would translate from Sanskrit Text, word for word.into English.I would go home, rearrange the sentences and bring them on the next day for final correction.
We first translated Panchatantra into English version. It took us 7 years It has been touched up by Sylvia Gidley U.K. It has gone into 15 editions and is sold by Rupa and Co.India .
Next we translated Panchatantra into German. Dr. A Karl ( Austria ) touched up my German version of Panchatantra
,M/S Eugen Diederichs published it and sold all the 5OOO copies,.
Thus we were the first Indians to have translated Panchatantra into German
In between I went to Indonesia .
As I met musicians. Writers, and dancers, I was attracted to their literature and folklore and was amazed to find astounding similarities between our backgrounds Afterall , for 15OO years Indonesia was Hindu and Buddhist . Stories called Kishah Tantri and Tantri Tales. Have originated from Panchatantra.
I did some research and came to the conclusion that probably Panchatantra was translated into ancient Kawi language of Indonesia in the 11th century, during the reign of King Airlanga , at the same time when Ramayana and Mahabharat were translated.There are historical records that he got the scholars from India to translateSanskrit Shastras into Kawi.
Incidently ,There are 750 common words between Sanskrit and Indonesian.
So when I came back I started learning Indonesian from the books..
Eventually with the help of one Jyoti Daryanani an Indian from Indonesia ,we translated Panchatantra into modern Indoneian. Sri Artaria of Dian Rakyat touched it up. Dian Rakyat Jakarta printed 5OOO copies And the sale is going on .
I have also translated another classic Hitopadesha : Written in 1675 A.D :into English .It has been published by Jaico Publishers :
e mail:[email protected] .
It has gone into 6 editions
Made Dewi along with me has translated this classic Hitopadesha into Indonesian .
It is on my website http://www.chandiramani.com under Classics .
Tales of Hitopadesha have been translated into English , German ,Indonesian , Marathi and Sindhi .
A dictionary of English : Colloquial Sindhi has been put on the internet. For the time being , i have put only A & B .there is no doubt that in due corse , The entire work will be done
An Audio of Tales of Hitopadesha has been put on the wabsite. When the children read the Tales of Hitopadesha, it and listen to it, at the same time. surely their Standard of English will go up.
This remindsme.My father would always say,’Do something that the others have not done before.,’
I am glad I have not failed him .
I have also written Roman Script for the Sindhi language .
There are around 5 ,OOO,OOO Sindhis all over the world . And they have no access to Arabic or Devnagiri Script. All of them know English and are therefore at ease with the roman script ..
With this in view, I have developed simple colloquial Sindhi into phonetic roman script .
in my website : www.chandiramani.com
, under Sindhi section :no . 18 ,
Please read : How to read and write Sindhi into Phonetic Roman Script .
There are 5 Folk Tales , 7 modern short stories and around 2o Jokes in both English and Sindhi in phonetic roman script.
A dictionary of English to simple colloquial Sindhi in phonetic roman script is being prepared by me . I have put A and B on my website
There is no doubt that the entire dictionary will be put on my website in due corse .
This is the only way to maintain links between us all..
Whatever I have achieved in life on the music and literature front has been due to my extremely efficient and kind Gurus who always listened to my whims and guided me with love and affection/ My gratitude to them knows no bounds/
In every human being's life , there is an incident that one cherishes the most .
In my case , it was the visit to the oldest temple in Bali : Puri Blanjong with my wife late Sheilu .It has a Prastiti ,which was inscribed in 9OO A.D in Sanskrit and ancient Javanese .It is readable until today .
Puri Blanjong Bali.