Connecting People, Creativity, Ideas, Globally

Yashu and Harida ~ Love, Light, Laughter


An interview with Yashu and Harida, the day after a really magical concert at ‘Bean Me Up’, Vagator, Goa, India, 2007.

How did you arrive in India?

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Yashu: My mother started coming here in ’72, she was looking for Yogis. She started to do Yoga as she had some problems with her back. She met Osho on her first trip, and when she came back to Spain, she was talking about him all the time – this Guru. And then all my curiositystarted with India – the smell when she opened the suitcase, the incense, the perfumes, the clothes and all that. Wow, it was like another world… And in ’75 I started coming to see India, to travel around. It was very shocking then because it was a very different world. I came later to Poona in ’78

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When did the two of you first meet?

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Yashu: We met in Spain. He was playing in this band and I was a friend of the band. I was a groupie, so I was there. This was 35 years ago. And afterwards we played together in the same band, we got involved, and then we came to Poona.

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Harida: We came to Osho together, it was very much about sannyas for both of us. I have been involved with music in most aspects of my life, everything has been connected with music. I was very lucky, I even dropped school when I was very young because I was playing music. I went to Italy to finish my studies in classical music. It was very helpful, I was fully opened with music. Then I was in a very successful band in Spain, and it was there that I met Yashu. We played together for a long time until we came to India, to Osho, the commune… And then everything was like – no way out! laughter I tried one time, I went back to Europe. But it was very difficult, because you change.

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What instruments do you play?

Harida: I play all percussions – western, eastern… Originally I used to play the western drum kit, then I went through many styles, jazz, rock… And I ended up playing the santoor because of my interest for harmony and melody. In the western schools we have all of these things mixed up – rhythm, harmony, melody. In the eastern schools – melody and rhythm have nothing to do with harmony. Actually this instrument is also the base of Koto, a tradtional Japanese stringed instrument. You find the santoor everywhere, in different forms. It was a forgotten instrument from the mountains, it was not part of the Indian classical scene until Shiv Kumar Sharma introduced it. It is Persian originally but it came to India, to Kashmir.

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You have learned western classical flute, where did you train?

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Yashu: In Barcelona, Spain, with one of the best of the classical flute players there – Salvador Gratacos. He plays in the orchestra of the city, a very good man, and he was also
 a good teacher. He was from the school of Rampal, very good technique.  
But it took me years to get out of that conditioning because it makes you very silly in a way, ‘toot toot toot’, I don’t like it – its very structured. I like improvising more, I don’t like to play classical. Its many years that I don’t play like that, I cannot even read music anymore. I was kind of, how you say, deprogrammed to the max! But I think it was very useful for learning the technique, because you need technique, then afterwards you can flow. I played with singers, with jazz rock, with salsa, also with flamenco for 10 years, also with Harida, and at that time he used to play tabla.

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When we came to Osho, there were only two guys playing for the whole commune – Chaitanya Hari and Govinda. And we came making a lot of noise and bringing all these instruments… And then many people played for him, we kind of opened the door and then many styles of different music came.

Harida: Everyday there would be different musicians..

Yashu: Yeah, it was great, because it was very rich. We would practice only 3-4 hours on the day the band was supposed to play, so it was very fresh. We had all kinds of styles – jazz from the north of Europe, African music, Indian music, folk, flamenco, anything, whatever was available there – very nice, very sweet, very intense. And in the night we had these sessions – energy darshans. Osho was using the music for that also, and that really blew my mind, and I think his too… (Harida’s laughter) Yeah, because we’d go from zero sound and energy to max – big sound and energy. And he was telling you when to start, when to stop, it was fantastic! Fantastic! You had to be there!

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Harida: You had to be there, fully there, because you wouldn’t know who is going to play the next 5 minutes, 10 minutes… Because there is a bunch of musicians sitting, everybody is in meditation with him, and he would just look. He would look at you like, ‘you play!’ Many times the one sitting next to me would turn also, because, aaahhhh…. its exciting, no? But normally, he would look.

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And how was that for you – playing for Osho? What did that do for you?

Yashu: For me it was great because I learned to use music for all purposes, rather than only the concept situation. So for me, it was not music as itself, it was an energy phenomenon. You can use music as a medium, to share energy. And then I also saw the richness of the music by itself – you can make people cry, you can make people laugh, you connect them with the heart. All this I learned playing for Osho. When we played around sannyas, you would see only thousands of backs, you wouldn’t see any faces, but you see the Master’s face – totally different set up. You use music more as a divine thing.

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Tell us about Nazca – your record label?

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Harida: A few years ago, my girlfriend Nartan and I decided to create a record label – to record the music we love, the styles of music that we love. The label is ‘Nazca’, which was the name of an ancient civilization in the mountains south of Peru about 3000-5000 years ago, much before the Incas, which was the last civilization in the southern regions of South America. They left all these huge signs on the ground, and I used one of these signs for my logo, which is the monkey. This monkey is 78 meters tall. Just think – you are standing right there but you don’t see it because it’s so big, you only see it from above.
I have my studio in a beautiful location in the south of Portugal, we live in a very alternative way, we are not too much connected to all this show business, so we have our own water coming out of the mountains, we use solar energy, the only cable coming in is telephone, because you need to be connected.
We also started meditation camps last year, to show people meditations. Many Osho books are being sold in Portugal, you find them everywhere, any little library, petrol station, anywhere… So people are reading them but they don’t know any further what this is. They come and say, “I know Osho, I read a book…” Aha, you read a book, fantastic, it’s a good step. So we show them meditations, we do meditation camps and we are hoping to soon start music events – music with meditation. It become this connected thing you know – music and meditation. Music brings you to a meditative feeling, to a meditative space. And the interest is there for meditation, for our master, to know about all these things…and we have the music, we have the experience of being there with him – people love to hear the stories, they see the website, they come and do all the meditations. I am lucky to have some of the old videos – the life of Osho, the lectures, the old tapes, the Osho before the hat – its fantastic. Wow! Ayayayay.

What inspires you?

Yashu: I don’t know, sometimes I feel full, sometimes empty. And its just life, no? I think its like this – sometimes you are full, and you have to put it out. And sometimes not, pero, after having the inspiration of him – that was the best inspiration. Then he is gone, so the inspiration…sometimes its there, sometimes its not there.

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Any other influences in your life?

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Yashu: I don’t feel like a musician, not anymore anyway. I love music, I love to play. But I don’t have the discipline – the 6, 7, 8 hours of practising everyday. I don’t have it, I’m lazy. I like to have one more tool in my life, a way of expression is there… Bas!

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Yesterday we were talking to these guys about gigs, and Poona-Bombay. I was like – no way, I cannot do it anymore. I did all this when I was younger, I did a lot, I was on the road, here and there. Now I have other priorities.

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The music last night at ‘Bean Me Up’ was so beautiful.. You should play together more often…

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Harida: We used to play a lot, because we played so well together, almost any style, it just flows… If Madam will be willing to… laughter

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Yashu: Claro, if you do here in Goa, its easy to do anything … Yesterday was more energy darshan situation.. laughs

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Yes, you come into that same space… And you also play Trance music?

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Harida: I got a bit more in the trance scene because I did some things with Bansi, my son, who is now a DJ, and they do more of electronic music. I was playing live percussion with them – beautiful. And I was inspired to do this thing, but its different, its more trance, its more full on.
We have many cd’s, also a lot of shanti music.

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Do you have a special memory, a moment with Osho, something you remember?

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Harida: Wow… I could say there was one every day. Very intense time, no matter when, anytime when he was in the body, because the space – it was something immense. Some experiences were more intense than others like playing music for satsangs, darshans, or whatever – wow! But mostly, just being there was incredible! Beautiful.

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Yashu: It is what he says, because there are many moments, there are a lot… I have some very nice ones, some wow, many things. And its between you and the Master, you cannot share this, you cannot explain this, because once you say it, it sounds, um… I don’t know how to explain it, it was a gift – bliss, light, getting lost, something like this. When you are alone, sometimes its harder to get into that one. With him, it was a help, it was a push.

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Harida: You could get lost, no problem, and you were safe.

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Yashu: Very easy, you can go in and disappear, easy… and high energy… I started to play in these energy darshans only when Chaitanya was sick. I remember the first time I was going to play there – I would take this bicycle rickshaw, and he would wait for me outside the ashram and take me home. I used to live in Yerwada those days, across the bridge. I was looking at the sky, and I could see the sky red, but red, red, red! I go wow! And I knew it was not red, I was just full of energy. I was very young so I even didn’t even know what was going on, you know? There were many such things with him. I also feel he kicked my ass, really fast too.

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After the second World Celebration I left the commune, and I never saw him again… When I came back to Poona, it was three months after he had left the body, and I found all these things which were new for me like the white robe. But when they put down the screen for the video, then I really cried, because I could see that he was gone. And then the lecture finished and the gibberish started, and I didn’t know what it was – the gibberish, and I went huh? I was like what’s going on here, what is this, what is this? And I had got a white robe that was so big, I had bought the wrong size, I had bought this big baba size, so I looked like a clown – I had these big white sleeves, you know kind of Ku Klux Klan, it was different, no, all this white situation.. laughs

But afterwards, I even got fanatic about it and I really enjoyed it, to sit there in meditation, or in darshan – doesn’t matter.

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And once in the States, he took me for a ride in his car, and he drove very bad, you know, like an Indian driver, but a bad one, eh? And kind of terrorist driving – very fast, taking over the cars from the right, from the left, whatever, you know, like zoom zoom zoom… And I am very scared of cars, so with him, even if he is my Guru, I was shitting in my pants, because I don’t like this at all… laughs He was really bad, and in the end he stopped when I said, “Police”. And then you had to see the face of that policeman looking at Osho, with his hat – he couldn’t believe it. Osho was holding the wheel like this. He looked at his driving license, and then looked at him. His license was a paper, and the guy was looking – what is this!? He said I can give you many tickets, you did many things wrong. But he got only one for too much speed. I was very happy – finally lets see if the guy gets some control, no? laughs No, no way – we came back the same way.

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When we got back, then you could open his door, it was the gift of going in the car with him. So I came out of the car and I opened the door for him. And he said, “Now I will always remember you, I got my first ticket with you” laughter So its many little things, but that was a funny one.

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How has it been bringing up your children in India, in Goa, around Osho?

Yashu: With Osho it was no problem, he used to love kids. When he was in the body, it was very good for the kids. I am very happy to bring up my daughter with the understanding that I got from sannyas. She grew up in the commune because she was born in Poona. I see sannyasin kids, and I love them, its like a family with them, all the Koh Hsuan kids.

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In Goa, its different because this was freak land, the hippies freak land. They used to look at the sannyasins here in Goa, and they were doing ‘Kundalini’ on the beach with all the orange clothes. “Oh the orange people are coming” – it was this hippies kind of reaction. Now there are more sannyasins around, more families, so lets see what happens. But it was not an open door for sannyasins in Goa, because they were like, what are these orange people doing here in Goa. Now with time they can see we are sane, we are human beings like everyone, you know. laughs

So, some people are very nice, some are pain in the ass, what to do – its the same. Osho used to tell us this is a marketplace. So people have to realize we are like them, we are not different. Some quality is there, I don’t know if others see it.

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I love my kids, I have only one, but I have many kids, they are a part of my family, no? And I think they are very nice, very special and very beautiful.

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So its been a beautiful environment for them…

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Yashu: Yeah. Yeah, I see some guys here that I also really like, like this young baba, he is the son of freaks, he’s twenty something, he grew up in this hippie commune in Japan, and there were 200 people living there in the mountains, they had their own thing. You see some of these jewels around also, like wow, what a beautiful guy. He is really relaxed and loving and more developed – not monkey style. I think they are special, they should be the famous New Men, no? Lets see, I gonna see, I gonna see.

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I think we have covered everything.

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Yashu: Yeah, I am flying…

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GMS – Yashu

www.nazcamusic.com

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4 responses

  1. YASHU
    has left us
    In the early morning of december third
    IN GOA
    where she wanted to do this
    “at home nearby her girls”

    have a safe journey beloved friend
    Anouk

    to see more infos:

    http://www.otoons.com/death/yashu.htm

    December 5, 2007 at 12:29 pm

  2. I knew Yashu and Hari in 1978. We had a band (Dinshah, my ex-husband) and I, along with others. The drummer had left. So we found Hari in Poona. When I went to see him, I saw this lovely young woman with a baby in her arms. That was Yashu with Kavyo, who was only a few months old. Then they packed up their bags and came to Goa. We played together and met a few times in Goa and Poona.

    The last time I saw Yashu was when I went to record an album with Hari in 2002. Yashu came there and there was much laughter. She cooked us tortillas con patatas. We played at the vegetarian fair in Lisbon. And finally, I was in Ibiza in summer 2004, playing on the beach with Chris Hinze’s band and I had a call from her. She said there wasn’t much time to meet then but we should meet soon. That never happened.

    And I was totally stunned when I got an email from Nartan about a week ago telling the sad news. So full of life….always laughing, with twinkling eyes….I’ll remember you so, Yashu !

    December 10, 2007 at 1:31 pm

  3. Beloved Yashu!
    Happy travels and I’m sure you are doing just fine and giving of yourself to everyone where you are ight now!
    Beloved Kavyo! I hope you are well and can feel your beloved mom every moment of the day… as I feel mine since she left her body two years ago now…
    I am also sure that Pramada is sending love from SF where he lives with his beloved son Saiyen… He has just gottten the news via e-mail…
    Take care of yourself and please write if you want… jivan.wells@yesyesyes.se
    Love you Jivan Kavya

    December 10, 2007 at 2:37 pm

  4. Anand Ekant

    Beloved Kavyo,
    So is life……….. for all, Yashu gave more than can be measured, to more than can be counted, I miss her, I am grateful for the beauty she transmitted to me through her music, through her soul, God Bless Yashu…….
    Love,……….Ekant

    December 19, 2007 at 4:45 pm