Daadu wouldn’t compliment you unless he meant it: Shweta on Pandit Jasraj
Singer Shweta Pandit, grand niece of the late Pandit Jasraj has been wrought with emotion since she heard of her “dadu” passing away. She was very close to him and shared a heartfelt note on social media, in the memory of her legendary grandfather, classical vocalist and Padma Vibhushan Pandit Jasraj, who passed away on Monday in New Jersey, USA.
She also shared a few memorable throwback pictures with the late music maestro. She wrote, “Good bye my precious dadu. So many insanely beautiful memories you have given me.. but i have no words now #RIPPanditJasraj.” One of the pictures indicated that the last call between them was on August 7.
Shweta is stationed in Italy with her husband and daughter. She has been busy connecting with the Indian Embassy to get to India and even get a visa for her newborn. Talking about her grandfather, Shweta says, “One of the earliest memories of him, was a life changing one for me. I was 11-12 and I had recorded a devotional album called Mahalaxmi. I had sung it in Sanskrit and the signature song was sung by my dadu, Pandit Jasraj ji. I finished the recording, which had many difficult Sanskrit words, and though I had not learnt Sanskrit, and felt I was doing my job. Right before the release, Dadu heard the album and came to our house at 6.30 in the morning. We were all sleeping and he kept ringing the doorbell. We were all startled and thought the worst. When we opened the door, we saw Dadu standing there. He came and hugged me and said, ‘I have heard your voice for the first time. You have sung so well that I can proudly say that music in our family is in safe hands’. He said he couldn’t stop himself from coming over. Back then, I was too young to understand what happened. Now, when I remember that day I feel it was the best day of my life because you don’t get such compliments- not as great as Panditji. He wouldn’t say it unless he meant it. It was a magical day and I will never forget that day in my life. I will always miss him.”
The fourth generation of singers in the family, Shweta says she learnt all about guru shishya parampara and Hindustani classical heritage from her elders. “People will say, ‘a life of a musician should be one like Pandit Jasraj ji’. The lockdown actually gave me a very beautiful connect with him as he was in his house in America and not busy at all. Over the years, I have spent time with him during lunches and dinners but he was always surrounded by people and busy with concerts and travel. He got to be relaxed during this time as he has worked for eight decades in his life. He would call me often to talk to me and see my daughter who was born in February. We spoke a lot about his life, his achievements and I felt like an interviewer asking him about his struggles and when he learnt and how. It was so enriching to hear about his story and his journey. In fact, he even taught me many ragas over video calls. I thank the pandemic as I got the chance to know him much better,” she concludes.