• NirmalaRajasekar

The new normal

Greetings! 2020 has been quite the year for all of us - a year to remember and reflect. Travelling to the US on Feb 29 2020, after being away on tour for 4 months, I would have never imagined that very soon a lot was going to change in a big way! The COVID-19 crisis came upon us all in a manner nobody expected. As I write this, I am fervently hoping and praying that there will soon be a vaccine that will be available to combat this virus. That the 'new normal' was social distancing and that we had to survive this virus by somewhat being in isolation, was a reality check that was stunning. Humankind is not made for quarantines - we thrive on being together! Performing artists were hit hard -with performing venues and concert halls being closed for the time being.

Thankfully, human spirit is what keeps us going in such moments. The support of my dear Naadharasa nonprofit Board came in strongly to do what we needed to do. Along with GCMA (Global Carnatic Musicians Association www.gcma.com) and ACF (the American Composers Forum www.acf.org- where I have begun serving as Co-Chair on the Board of Directors since July), Naadharasa and I were involved in helping artists, instrument makers/repair shops and communities in need. This work which began in April 2020 has been continuing as I write this in November. My eternal gratitude to all the generous people from all over the globe who have stood by Naadharasa, GCMA and ACF. It has been a privilege to perform many concerts online for organizations such as Indian Music Society of MN (www.imsom.org) in its fundraising support of the India Association of Minnesota's (www.iamn.org) relief efforts. It has been a time of great change in the world around us in many ways - from addressing inequities in our society to providing assistance and financial relief to those in need. Please take care, everyone. Though this not over yet, we know we can combat this together. May the upcoming holiday season beginning with Diwali this weekend, be a special time to cherish each other!

Love and Peace! Nirmala

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