Arista Katwaroo started learning music at the tender age of five at the Bharatiya Vidya Sansthhaan (BVS) founded by Sangeetaachaarya Mahakavi Professor Hari Shankar Adesh. She is an initiated disciple of Professor Adeshji.
The 21-year-old, third-year student of the University of the West Indies is pursuing a Bachelor of Science (Double Major) in Geography and Environmental Natural Resource Management.
Arista recently attained the Sangeet Kalanidhi (Bachelor’s Degree) in Indian Classical Music where she obtained a Gold medal for Violin and a Silver Medal for Vocals at BVS. Her talents and skills have also given her the opportunity to teach violin, harmonium, tabla and vocals at BVS. Arista has performed for many events such as the Dharmachaarya’s inauguration and has taken part in many competitions in Trinidad such as the Sanskritik Sangam where she placed first in the vocal category, second in the instrumental category and was given the ‘All Rounder’ award in 2012.
In 2018, the young musician and vocalist was honoured by Shri Shivannand Maharaj as a prominent violin artiste of Trinidad and Tobago. In addition to being an all-rounder, she has been playing volleyball for nine years, showing true prowess in balancing her music, sport and education all at the same time. Arista shared her story with the WE Mag team, here’s what she had to say:
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome and how did you deal with it?
My biggest challenge has been balancing my music, academic life and personal life all while teaching music. A lot of people have asked me how I manage and my response is always that it takes a lot of commitment, dedication and most of all, patience. With all of this, nothing can stop one from achieving what one wants. It has been very tiresome as I am either packed with school assignments or performing music or both, but I have learnt that time is valuable and must never be wasted so I practice time management and schedule a time for studying and practicing music. Most importantly, I ensure that I eat properly and get enough sleep.
What are you working on at present, what is keeping you excited?
- Being a final year student at UWI. I am very excited about attaining my BSc in Geography and Environmental Natural Resource Management.
-Being a violinist as well as a lover of music and other various instruments. I am always enthusiastic to learn new techniques and compositions from my Sadguru, Professor Adeshji.
- Being a music teacher. I am always excited about spreading my love for music to my students and ensuring that they get the best treatment.
- I am most fascinated and intrigued by the Sangeet Sindhu course which is the master’s level music course spearheaded and founded by my Sadguru Professor Adeshji.
- I am focused on self-improvement in a holistic manner - emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
What is your ultimate goal or biggest dream for your future?
One of my biggest dream is to become an accomplished Indian Classical Artiste in Violin and vocal music. I want to be able to perform all over the world especially in India and to be able to carry on and spread the knowledge of my Sadguru, Professor Adeshji and his work. My main goal, however, is to become very successful in life and to make my parents proud.
Tell us something about you that people may not know.
I have a love for English classical music and would like to learn to play this on the piano.
What are you most grateful for?
I am most grateful for my Sadguru, Professor Hari Shankar Adesh and my Gurumaataaji, Dr Nirmala Adesh for their blessings and teachings in various aspects of my life. I owe all of my musical achievements as well as personal achievements to my Sadguru, Professor Adeshji. He is the shining light in my life and I love him immensely. Heartfelt thanks to my parents, especially my mother for making the various sacrifices to carry me to these different classes where I learnt and explored these aspects of my life. I am also appreciative of my aunt and brother for their love and support. A special mention to my father for being one of my biggest fans. I am also thankful to the various teachers of BVS for their input in my life. Last by not least, I would like to thank Bhagvan (God) for everything he has given me and done for me in my life as he was there for me during the happiest and toughest moments of my life and has shown me the path to success. He taught me to never give up when things get tough.
Do you have any advice for other women who may want to do what you do?
Always be humble. Believe and have confidence in yourself. Never give up on your dreams and aspirations. Be strong mentally and don’t feel ashamed of being different. Stay true to your principles, morals and values and try to be a good, sincere person. Never give up or stop praying to Bhagvan (God) as he will never give up on you. Remember that he has everything planned out for you when the time is right, so always be patient and live life to the fullest and not be regretful. Always try to help and motivate others in doing what is right. One thing that my Sadguru, Professor Adeshji always says and has taught me is, “Yah Vishwa Hee Parivaar Ho, Sab Ke Liye Sam Pyaar Ho!” “May the world/universe be one noble family with equal love for all.”