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Culture is an important part of one’s identity as it shapes one’s values and sense of belonging. When I came across SPIC MACAY, I immediately felt a connection with its vision. I realized the importance of the idea of imbibing Indian heritage education for students along with a formal education, especially in today’s context. 

My journey as an educationist began after my marriage when I started working in a Delhi government school. In 1996, owing to my husband’s transfer, we moved to Kathmandu, Nepal where I enrolled as a teacher at the Elite’s Co-Ed School, a well-known boarding school of the city. In 2001, we moved to Varanasi where I joined W.H. Smith Memorial School as Vice-Principal. It was here that I was formally introduced to SPIC MACAY. I must say I was highly impressed by the movement and the way in which its programs were structured. As Varanasi was already rich in culture, there were huge opportunities for SPIC MACAY and I was fortunate to be able to contribute to the same. In my capacity as the Vice-Principal of a school for four years, I successfully managed to organize more than 20 concerts and press conferences in the city for SPIC MACAY.

As I started getting more involved with SPIC MACAY, I also came across new terms and new people and newer ways of doing things. I was soon introduced to activities like Fest, State Convention, Virasats etc but the best of them all was ‘Volunteerism’.  One found that in SPIC MACAY it was the students who were expected to take initiative for all the work and arrangements. From greeting the artiste, to arranging splendid hall decorations, to putting the sheets/mats on the floor or lining up shoes of the audiences outside the venue, everything had to be organized by students. To see students readily take up all these chores, beaming with energy was and has always been a great source of encouragement for me while organizing any event of SPIC MACAY. 

In 2004, I shifted to Delhi. It’s a big city where carving an identity for oneself is always difficult. Here I changed tracks from being an educationist to a corporate person, where I continued to work for around ten years. Even as I was busy working with MNCs, I constantly missed and longed for those golden days one had spent volunteering in Varanasi, organizing SPIC MACAY events. In 2014, I was lucky to get back in touch with Dr.Kiran Seth, who had always been an inspiration. This was when I re-joined the movement as a volunteer. 

I feel fortunate to be part of this amazing movement. At this point, the youth of our country is disconnected from our classical music and culture. SPIC MACAY’s effort in trying to focus not on entertainment but on the upliftment of the soul is therefore commendable. In the words of Dr. Seth, “this culture is food for the soul. This culture has the potential to help in turning the concentration of students into a laser beam.” 

I have thoroughly enjoyed all the concerts in schools and colleges; every Saturday meeting (in Delhi) makes for a fresh learning experience. In this movement, every single person has provided me utmost comfort, encouragement and support at every step of the way. It is this motivation and support which has made SPIC MACAY almost like home for me.  I believe that SPIC MACAY is like an ocean and all of us can add our tiny drops to it in the form of our time and energy, so I am working as a Director Media. This will not only give a lot of satisfaction to our tired souls, it will also help contribute, even if in small bits, to our society and to our children – the future of India. Gratitude Dr Kiran Seth