At ITC-SRA, the relationship between the Guru and the Shishya is one of all-pervading learning and complete trust, born out of the Shishya's total surrender to the universal glory of the art. To the Shishya, the Guru symbolises the art itself, while for the Guru, the Shishya signifies the continuity of the art. The Guru shares the sacred knowledge of the art only with kindred souls, sincere in their quest.
The Parable Of The Ustad
A Muslim Ustad was once testing the devoutness of his pious Hindu Brahmin Shishya. He asked the Shishya to get some meat from the market. When the Shishya brought the meat, the Guru asked him to clean, wash and cook it. After that was done, the Ustad asked the Shishya to bring rice and meat in two plates. With trepidation and tears the Shishya did as he was bid, fearing that he would next be asked to savour the offering. The Ustad then embraced his Shishya, satisfied that the disciple had passed the test and was ready to imbibe the Guru's learning.
Gurukul in ITC-SRA
ITC-SRA endeavours to develop a deep emotional bond between the Master and each of his pupils. It strives to make the Academy a close-knit family, providing that comforting feeling of security and emotional integration that are so vital for creative genius to unfold in its full splendour.
ITC-SRA has been home to some of the finest musicians today: Ajoy Chakrabarty, the first scholar of the academy went on to become and remains today, a guru here while Rashid Khan, who was groomed in the academy as a child under the watchful eyes of a stern uncle, blossomed into one of the most celebrated musicians today. Among other ITC-SRA celebrities who have illuminated the national musical horizon are Arun Bhaduri, Mashkoor Ali Khan and Subhra Guha.
Though never a scholar here, the portals of this Academy have, for the past decade and a half, been illumined by the presence of guru Ulhas Kashalkar, the musician's musician. Shishyas who trained under him and who have already made their mark include names like the much feted Shashank Maktedar.
ITC-SRA alumni who have made an impact include Shantanu Bhattacharya, Aniruddha Bhattacharya, Waseem Khan, Tushar Dutta, Koushik Bhattacharya and Ranjani Ramchandran, to name just a few, while Kaushiki Desikan (Chakrabarty) and Omkar Dadarkar are young musical sensations who have caught the attention of music lovers and critics. Arshad Ali, Abir Hussain (sarod), Supratik Sengupta (sitar), Sandeep Bhattacharya, Sucheta Ganguly and Brajeswar Mukherjee who are still students of the gurukul, have already begun to receive recognition for their talent. Each of them, guided by their Guru, is a tribute to the success of the effort to institutionalise the Guru-Shishya Parampara.