European Trip Extraordinaire
An early and wonderful “black and white” of Jaishree
Let me introduce myself as Jaishree, a voluntary worker at the Adyar Archives, TS Adyar.
My parents, Dr. Kannan & Mrs. Sarojini Kannan moved to Adyar to work in the Theosophical Society in 1964. My grandparents were primarily responsible for us to be associated with this movement.
Jaishree chanting in Spain, watch her finger …
I have been a student of Carnatic Music and became interested in chantings & bhajan singing. I worked as a Music teacher and a primary school teacher at the Krishnamurti School in Bangalore before joining Adyar Library and Research Centre, Adyar. Here I worked for nearly 25 years. At present I am in charge of the Archives.
Earlier this year I was invited to present a paper at Athens. Was that invitation really for me? Yes, I was to visit 4 European countries! So, let me share my experiences of this October trip to Europe.
My first stop was Athens where I presented a paper on Archival History at the International Theosophical History Conference. What novel experience for someone who never presented a paper before! However, the friendly atmosphere helped with my presentation of “Adyar Archives - Narrative of a Treasure House”. This talk covered the Archives' history from its humble beginning in 1922, its luxuriant growth and our plans for future needs. It was intended to provide a bird’s eye view of the Archives’ abundance and all contributions by its Keepers and volunteers.
Jaishree in Athens
Onward to the Italian lodges of Vicenza, Venice and Cervignano! The presentations were titled ‘Chants and Mantras – their Theosophical Import' and included a Workshop on Chanting of Mantras. At Barcelona, Spain we met for one and a half days. Everyone was eager to learn, commit to memory and recite together 2 or 3 mantras. I was the happy teacher to boss them around! The last venue was Paris. At this picturesque locale I presented 'Musical Journey through India' singing songs in various local languages.
Jaishree on the right, conducting a masterclass in Paris
Many equally joyful memories connect these 4 countries. There was the hospitality of the members of the T. S., shepherding me around. Various places, lodges, Basilicas, Churches, Palaces, places of great interest, restaurants, canals, heritage sites come to mind – I could not ask for more! It prevails as a magnificent experience for which words will not suffice! What remains for me to say is a big ‘Thank You’. Let us remind ourselves to continue to do the Masters’ work in whatever way we can.