Madhukar Kharilekar of Pune was a wonderful man and an unusual sarangi player. Not coming from a musical family, he had chosen to learn vocal music and sarangi as a child. He  learnt vocal music from the eminent vocalists Vinayakrao Patwardhan and Vasantrao Deshpande who eventually sent him to Mohammed Khan, the famous Jajar-gharana sarangi player, to learn sarangi. During my first visit he burst into tears—of love—when I said that I had learned from the great master Gopal Mishra. We became very good friends during several visits to Pune between 1997 and his death around ten years ago. He taught me many bandishes and interesting ways of forming tans. He was unusually articulate and thoughtful about music. He was elderly and out of practice on sarangi, but his singing was still well-oiled by ongoing teaching. And he had a very beautiful and well-maintained sarangi, similar to that of Baccha Lal Mishra in Banaras.

On my second visit, 30 March 1997, I took the video camera along. It was dark in the room, so we don't see Madhukar Kharilekar's face very well, but it's a wonderful record of how this man was bursting to share his knowledge. The first piece is a lesson in rag Bageshri, sung and played, interspersed with and followed by conversation:


The next video includes rags Bhairavi, Kafi and Saraswati and more discussion:


And then we have a wonderful vocal lesson in palta tan formation in rag Yaman, followed by a little bit of his young student, Dipti, on sarangi. Sadly she eventually abandoned sarangi.


There will be several more videos of Madhukar Kharilekar. Stay tuned!