Photos: Guitar Rao and his rupee a day roving music lessons in Delhi

Barefoot, and dressed in modest clothes, Yash Vir Rao alias Guitar Rao can be spotted around Central Delhi with his bagful of flutes and a guitar slung on his back, or at his haunt outside Andhra Bhawan. A former civil engineer, Rao today aims at guiding people’s lives towards positivity with music lessons for one rupee a day. His guru dakshina, an equally modest request that once the classes are over, his students donate a flute to a blind person, an orphan child or anyone needy who could also do with some music.

Updated On Jul 09, 2018 10:42 AM IST 9 Photos
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In the routine of the rat race, somewhere along the line, between responsibilities and the mundane, our dreams and aspirations are often compromised, even forgotten. Yash Vir Rao alias GuitarRao has learnt this lesson from his own experiences and is today determined to reignite that lost fire in people with his roving music lessons. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

In the routine of the rat race, somewhere along the line, between responsibilities and the mundane, our dreams and aspirations are often compromised, even forgotten. Yash Vir Rao alias GuitarRao has learnt this lesson from his own experiences and is today determined to reignite that lost fire in people with his roving music lessons. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Updated on Jul 09, 2018 10:42 AM IST
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Barefoot and dressed unassumingly, Guitar Rao can most often be spotted with his bagful of flutes and a guitar outside Andhra Bhawan in New Delhi. Rao teaches people music for a rupee a day and believes in the philosophy of sharing knowledge with as many people as possible and making music affordable to everyone. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Barefoot and dressed unassumingly, Guitar Rao can most often be spotted with his bagful of flutes and a guitar outside Andhra Bhawan in New Delhi. Rao teaches people music for a rupee a day and believes in the philosophy of sharing knowledge with as many people as possible and making music affordable to everyone. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Updated on Jul 09, 2018 10:42 AM IST
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Rao shows an old photograph of him receiving his Civil Engineering degree. “This is my institute,” he said, sitting under the shade of a tree by the footpath. He recalls his professional life as an angry one, in contrast to his days now, free from anguish and spent in temples, ashrams or the Andhra Bhawan’s grounds. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Rao shows an old photograph of him receiving his Civil Engineering degree. “This is my institute,” he said, sitting under the shade of a tree by the footpath. He recalls his professional life as an angry one, in contrast to his days now, free from anguish and spent in temples, ashrams or the Andhra Bhawan’s grounds. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Updated on Jul 09, 2018 10:42 AM IST
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His lessons don’t require a studio space and this one man ‘Universal Sangeeth Academy’ is open to teaching in person, over the phone or social media... whatever helps spread music. If there are more than ten people, the academy says it will come to the students. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

His lessons don’t require a studio space and this one man ‘Universal Sangeeth Academy’ is open to teaching in person, over the phone or social media... whatever helps spread music. If there are more than ten people, the academy says it will come to the students. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Updated on Jul 09, 2018 10:42 AM IST
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Guitar Rao’s day begins at 4 a.m with meditation and then setting up his institute on the footpath. He’s happy to share his contact info with passersby if they show interest in music lessons. Rao acknowledges that a lot of people have the money nowadays but it’s time that keeps them from pursuing passions. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Guitar Rao’s day begins at 4 a.m with meditation and then setting up his institute on the footpath. He’s happy to share his contact info with passersby if they show interest in music lessons. Rao acknowledges that a lot of people have the money nowadays but it’s time that keeps them from pursuing passions. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Updated on Jul 09, 2018 10:42 AM IST
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It isn’t just the guitar or flute, for the same rupee a day fee or Rs 100 for 100 days if the student commits, Rao can also teach dance, keyboards and singing. A firm believer in upliftment through music, Rao shared that a music teacher in college once told him that even a terrorist in jail could turn into a saint if taught music. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

It isn’t just the guitar or flute, for the same rupee a day fee or Rs 100 for 100 days if the student commits, Rao can also teach dance, keyboards and singing. A firm believer in upliftment through music, Rao shared that a music teacher in college once told him that even a terrorist in jail could turn into a saint if taught music. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Updated on Jul 09, 2018 10:42 AM IST
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Guitar Rao’s classes however, come with a responsibility that rests on sharing. If they’re satisfied and happy with his lessons, students must donate a flute to a blind person, an orphan child or to anyone needy. He also lays emphasis on his students sharing lessons with people around them. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Guitar Rao’s classes however, come with a responsibility that rests on sharing. If they’re satisfied and happy with his lessons, students must donate a flute to a blind person, an orphan child or to anyone needy. He also lays emphasis on his students sharing lessons with people around them. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Updated on Jul 09, 2018 10:42 AM IST
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His students range from young children, teenagers and adults from all walk of life who’re taking regular lessons, to armed forces personnel and civil servants in central Delhi who find time between breaks to stop by. And meeting over lessons under Guitar Rao also brings with it new friendships and acquaintances. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

His students range from young children, teenagers and adults from all walk of life who’re taking regular lessons, to armed forces personnel and civil servants in central Delhi who find time between breaks to stop by. And meeting over lessons under Guitar Rao also brings with it new friendships and acquaintances. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Updated on Jul 09, 2018 10:42 AM IST
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Guitar Rao quips that even when he’s travelling back to see his family in Andhra Pradesh every month, he doesn’t buy tickets, preferring instead to wait for the ticket checker in the general compartment. A request for his ticket is met with an offer to barter a journey with a flute. And Rao’s happy to go jail, if only to be able to teach inmates. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Guitar Rao quips that even when he’s travelling back to see his family in Andhra Pradesh every month, he doesn’t buy tickets, preferring instead to wait for the ticket checker in the general compartment. A request for his ticket is met with an offer to barter a journey with a flute. And Rao’s happy to go jail, if only to be able to teach inmates. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Updated on Jul 09, 2018 10:42 AM IST
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