It was a wonderful evening, the atmosphere thick with love and devotion. All the kids did their level best and I'm so proud of them all. And all the parents were so happy.
My old student and fellow disciple of Guru-ji, Liz Campbell, gave an inspiring speech telling of her experiences learning tabla in India, the importance of practice and enjoying practice.
Many many thanks to all who helped, most especially Joseph Nand who not only accompanied every tabla solo on harmonium and gave a lot of time for practice, but also provided the sound system and arranged for a friend to manage it - and the sound was great all night.
Also thanks to Brent James for these beautiful photos:
The altar - a large black and white photo of Guru-ji at his peak in the 1950s. Thanks to Megan for the flowers and Brent for the printing.
Dan Prasad, one of my first students, brought singers from the Sri Saileshwara Temple to open the proceedings with bhajans in honour of the guru.
The whole class, plus myself, Liz and Dan just after presentation of the certificates. Down the left-hand side of the certificates, I placed pictures of the 7 generations of guru-student tradition (guru-shishya parampara) from the progenitor of the Benares Gharana, Pt Ram Sahai (1780-1824) down to myself. (Thanks to Shawn Mativetsky for the great photos and info on his website about our great Varanasi tabla tradition.)