“When I realised the beauty of Indian classical music I hitch-hiked from Sweden to India to learn tabla in the mid sixties. I reached Bombay and did not know anybody so I thought there must be musicians at the radio station, went to All India Radio and asked if there was any musician there that could help me. Luck sent me sitar and surbahar maestro Chandrashekar Naringrekar who soon told me that he knew exactly whom I should meet. The next day he took me to Sonawala Building in Tardeo and, climbing the stairs I heard several tabla players playing great music. As we went thru the door there was a circle of tabla players and at one end of the circle there was this wonderful man playing the harmonium and reciting the most fantastic compositions, teaching the players on the fly, Pandit Taranath Rao. To my surprise I found that the tabla ”maestros” that I had heard were children between five and twelve years old! Was I impressed? Yes I was. And happy, happy, happy, like anything. One of those small boys was Maruti Kurdekar who accompanies Chandu, as he was called, in his C&E-recording of Raag Nandeshwari.
Chandrashekar Naringrekar was Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar’s closest student and a great sitar- and surbahar exponent. He was a very very good hearted and social friend who introduce me, not only to my and his own guru but to everything else in the Hindustani music world. Every weekend he invited me to his house in Chembur where his guru and some gurubhais like Ravi Bellare and the Krishnamurthy family (Ramani, Shivakumar and Sridhar) stayed and a wonderful musical atmoshphere prevailed with a small concert in Ustad’s room taking place every Sunday. Those were great days!
Later Chandu took office as principal of music at Kala Arts Academy in Panjim where he hired my gurubhandu Maruti Kurdekar as main tabla teacher, so in the nineties they played a lot together. When I visited in 1993 they played a lovely concert at Chandu’s home for fellow Swedish tabla student Fredrik Johansson and me, now please enjoy his thorough treatment of one of Z.M. Dagar’s favourite ragas, Nandeshwari where Chandu and Maruti first play surbahar and pakhawaj and then sitar and tabla.” – Bengt Berger