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At her Belgharia residence in Kolkata, Arunima Datta greeted us to an endearing world. Next to her sat her guru Shri Arabinda Roy, visibly struck by the presence of intruders in the music room. But the dynamics between them was frank and candid and we got excited at what was to unfold in the next few hours of our soiree.
Arunima clearly maintains to this day that she was fortunate to find in Shri Arabinda Ray the traits she wished for in a guru. In fact, working as a school teacher, she accidently met him at the staff room, explaining tabla beats to a group. She was struck by the profundity of his knowledge and immediately decided to know more about him. After continuing her persuasion for more than two years, she was finally accepted under his aegis. Soon she discovered the many sides to her guru and his large range of musical interests ranging from bhajan, khayal and folk-songs to his dexterity with several musical instruments including the tabla and harmonium. Though she was always inclined to music from a very early age, she was not content with the quality of her music lessons and longed for a guru. Under the taleem of Shri Arabinda Ray, she was not only trained as a vocalist but was also inspired to learn the harmonium. Arunima maintains that the meeting with her guru, who is now almost like a member of her family, was destined to be a turning-point in her music career.