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Homage to parents
Mandakini and Vishwanath  Moreshwar
(alias Visubhau)  Gadre
(Compiled by : Sudhir Gadre) 
 

My mother was born in the Joshi family in Vadodara in the year 1919. Her father, Narayanrao (alias Nana) was the court Astrologer in the Royal court of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaikwad and her uncle was a priest. She inherited music from her mother 'Anandibai' who was from Deodhar family. In those days, music was not a respected profession. Learning music was banned even for boys in cultured families and for girls, learning music was out of question. In fact, Ustad Faiyyaz Khan used to head the music school in Vadodara, but exposure to music of my mother prior to marriage, was limited to taking part in "Sangeet-Melas-Music Gatherings" run to kindle national spirit in society as a part of freedom struggle. 
My father, Vishwanath (alias Visubhau) was born in 1909. His father was a teacher in Aryan school in Girgaum in Mumbai. He was a strict disciplinarian person. My father had lost his mother when he was a child and his college education came to an end on the first day of the college because of his father's death. He then served in the personnel Department of Oriental Life Insurance Company and later in Life Insurance Corporation of India as officer in Personnel Department when Life Insurance business was nationalised in 1956. Having been deprived of mother's love from childhood and having seen the bad effects of rigorous discipline on his elder brother and with the experience of working under progressive British Management in Oriental Life Insurance company, his approach to life changed drastically. He was a generous, sociable person, very helpful to those in need, practised empathy in day-to-day behaviour and nurtured positive approach naturally. A person who came in contact with him even once would remember him and like to keep relations with him because of his charismatic personality.

Indumati (my mother's maiden name) and Visubhau got married in 1937. Due to her aptitude for and keen desire to learn music, she joined 'Maharashtra Sangeet Vidyalaya' and completed 'Sangeet Visharad" under the guidance of Pt. Baburao Gokhale. Later she took advanced training in music from Master Navrang for nearly 20 years and learnt nuances of Bhendi Bazaar Gayaki. She sang on All India Radio, Mumbai from 1942 to 1972. Initially, for the first few years she used to sing light music but later she restricted to classical music performances. She was also invited to sing a National programme of music transmitted from Pune Radio Station.

Initial learning and then pursuing classical music and singing on AIR for 30 years would not have been possible without active and able support of Visubhau. In order to allow my mother to attend classes and continue 'Riyaz', Visubhau took care of babysitting, carried out part of house hold activities, looked after maintenance of musical instruments and most of all, gave moral support to her. He enjoyed doing all this, although he had no ear for music. His passion was to encourage, in words and through deeds, my mother to achieve excellence in classical music, despite his busy work schedule.

It was possible for my mother, to exploit her musical talents commercially. She however, jointly with Visubhau, deliberately refrained from doing so and gave first priority to upbringing of two sons and to carrying out family responsibilities. She therefore sang only in, Ganeshotsava celebrations and concerts, at acquaintances' places.

They spent last few years of their life at Pune. Having enjoyed a thoroughly satisfying married life of 52 years, they left for their heavenly abode on auspicious days- Visubhau in July 1990 on Ashadhi Ekadashi, followed by Mandakini after 7 months in February, 1991 on Phalgun Ekadashi.

(Compiled by : Sudhir Gadre)

 
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