I have been a professional Software Engineer for 15 years.
I love playing and sharing kirtan.
I used to play bass guitar in amateur Rock'n Roll bands early on in my life. I was probably a teenager in elementary school when it all started.
I have always throughout my entire life had a passion for music. It has always felt a way of expressing myself and getting some relief from the worldly challenges.
When I was introduced to Krishna Consciousness in 2004, the devotees invited me to join their Sunday love feast kirtan with my bass guitar. It was convenient for me as it was on my way to the Sunday night rehearsals with my band.
Over time, my heart has gradually been transformed and purified. I felt more and more connected to the divine sacred sounds as opposed to the Rock'n Roll vibe and atmosphere.
So, gradually, my interest has drifted apart from undergorund bands towards devotion. I started learning various traditional Vaishnava instruments. Over a period of time, I found myself playing harmonium and leading kirtans.
Many kirtaniyas have inspired me over the last 15+ years. If I had to mention anyone in particular, that would be Aindra Prabhu. He had dedicated his life to kirtan. He led the 24-hour kirtan department in Vrindavan, India for 24 years.
As a busy Software Engineer, my life has been very hectic. Yet, I feel great when I can come together with like-minded devotees to sing the holy name. I always come out of it with piece of mind, hope, relief and such high energy that I could not get by any other ways, methods and means.
So, I have been playing kirtan for a long time now. Organically, I have learnt a lot from experienced kirtaniyas over the last 10-15 years. I am eternally grateful for the teachers and devotees who have influenced my life in this way. I feel that now it is my turn to try to contribute the experience back to the kirtan community in the mood and mission of great kirtaniyas, like Aindra Prabhu.