My Story – chapter one

Chapter one

I was born in Zemun, Belgrade, Yugoslavia, which is Serbia now. My mom’s parents come from Slovenia and Croatia, and my dad’s parents come from Montenegro and Serbia. My mom used to play piano, and she bought a piano for me when I was 10 years old. I went to a music school to learn piano for six years, then I learned flute for four years. I studied math and physics in some kind of experimental school where they compressed high school and college into one. My country was atheistic, and my parents were atheists, but when I was around 16, I decided that there’s no way that all this came about by chance. The creation is just too complex to have come out of an explosion, even gradually over millions and billions of years. In 1987, The communist government allowed freedom of religion, so the first religious books appeared in the bookstores. I bought them all. After trying several religious and spiritual paths, I decided to stay with the Hare Krishna movement. I became a monk and I went to live in a temple when I was 22. They gave me a new name- Bhairavesh (you can find all my Indian music by searching that name) Before that, I played flute, Keyboards, and I sang in several bands. We did local gigs, or beach resorts, and my last gig was a cruise ship in the Adriatic touring Venice, and a few ports in Croatia, and Montenegro. After that I got bored, I packed my bags, and I went to live in the temple as a monk. There was a lot of music going on at Krishna temples. Singing and dancing was a major part of their religious practice, and the food was just amazing. Maybe I was attracted to Krishna as my God, because he played flute. Every picture, and statue of Krishna shows him playing flute. So, he is kind of a flute God. Murali is one of the names of Krishna, which means the flute player. That’s where the name for my flute brand comes from. So, they quickly figured that I was a great asset as a musician and they took me around Europe with a big band, and we were doing festival of India shows. We had quite large audiences up to 10,000 people in Europe, or even over 30,000 in Russia. I kept touring for about five years, but then a war started in Yugoslavia, and Yugoslavian passport had to be replaced with the passports of all the new little countries, and then the world had to recognize all the new little countries before you could actually travel with those new passports, so long story short, it became impossible to continue touring. But, during the last tour, at the concert in Switzerland, a beautiful girl came backstage, and one of the organizers of the tour introduced us. I was out of the loop of what was going on back in Yugoslavia, but they told me she was a number one pop singer in the country. There were some sparks between us, and when we met again in Belgrade, we got together, and eventually got married. We made some music together, but the war just ruined everything. There was no money to be made with music. The war was getting worse, so we decided to move to Athens, Greece. We lived in Greece for three years, and when the war seemed to be over, we went back to Serbia. To our disappointment, a new war started between the Albanians and the Serbs, but by that time our relationship also deteriorated due to constant financial struggle, so we got divorced, and I moved to the United States. I came to Boston with $200 in my pocket. I had no work permit, because I came on the religious visa. One of the organizers of our concerts in Europe had been positioned as the temple president in Boston, so they sponsored me to come. So, there I was, living in the Hare Krishna temple again. Although there were many wonderful things that I learned in the temple, people are people, and there were so many politics going on in the movement, and the monks and others were engaged in criticizing each other, and fighting over money, and control, so The life in the temple was not enjoyable or favorable for me any longer. My friend, the temple president, had the same opinion, and he basically let me do whatever I wanted, so I just went out on the streets of Boston, and Cambridge, and I started playing my flute. It was a good practice, and I could make some money to get by. One day, a vice president of Powell flutes came by, and he listened to me for some time. When I finished my piece, he approached me, we talked for a little bit, he told me who he was, and basically offered me a job on the spot. As soon as I got my work permit, I was at Powell flutes making wonderful silver handmade flutes. Stephen Finley even help me pay the first couple of months of rent, So that I could actually walk to work from my apartment. I got my first car, my first real job, and everything was great. I stayed at Powell for about four years, and I made about 500 flutes there. To be continued…

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