The California Experience 1

Over this summer I have had that absolute privilege to study Hindustani Indian Classical music with composer and Fulbright-Nehru recipient Reena Esmail and Classical and light Indian singer Saili Oak-Kalyanpur. The summer intensive is a three hour session each week for six weeks that aims to bridge some of the gap between Western Classical music and Hindustani Classical music. Throughout the six sessions they will teach us what a classical Indian musician typically takes years upon years to master. The five students, including myself, have been soaking up as much as we can at the workshops each week and we put it all to work through the assignments each week such as writing raags and listening to hours of examples provided by the two teachers to familiarize ourselves with this art.

This workshop has been eyeopening and fun for all seven of the musicians involved. The first class was dedicated to introducing and understanding the concept of the raag. During the second meeting I learned that a raag can be tailored to a bandish. At the third session I learned that the bhajani taal is used traditionally only for bhajans, not bandishs.

The flight over was pretty peaceful and such a wonderful view! I planned to take a nap and read, but the sights were just too beautiful to pass on.

Still pretty close

Reflections of the clouds on the wing

Welcome to California

On another note, I have been living at an Airbnb that is very reasonably priced. Here, I’ve met so many international people that I feel like the foreign one! The mix of cultures and great people is one I shall never forget! Not to mention that the weather is nice, like really nice, like I don’t know why other people here are always complaining about the heat nice!

Airbnb bunk

I got to make a trip over to (close enough to) the Hollywood sign and the Walk of Fame this weekend with some of my housemates which made me feel like the ultimate tourist.

La La Land expanding LED globe


Santa Monica is, so far, the only beach I’ve been to, but I plan to change that soon.

Santa Monica Beach waves


Uber, walking, and the Metro Train have become my best friends.


The farmers’ market and my generous housemates have allowed me to stay at a low food budget. And I have gotten a lot more acquainted with cooking.


I have only been here for about three weeks and I’ve unfortunately lost my charger outlet for my phone and some cacao hazelnut butter that I bought from the farmers’ market.

I now will forever have sympathy for all those people out there that grew up sleeping on a top bunk every night.

Majority of the restaurants that I’ve been to have been great and surprisingly cheap. Simply Salad, King Taco, and El Comal are just some of them.


That’s all I have to report this time, but assuming that I get a temporary job, there will be more in a week or two! Hope you enjoyed your Fourth of July!!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot about piano heaven!


4 thoughts on “The California Experience 1

    1. Though I didn’t realize how helpful it was at the time, thank you for insisting you come with me! Having you and Moresa there certainly was fun and needed! It made the transition a lot less nerve wrecking.

      Liked by 1 person

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