Author Message
Cruelty Aug 21, 2003 11:45 a.m.

Recently I have gotten some alarming emails from a guy I will call Ken so it doesn't point any fingers. If anyone knows him personally tell him to leave me alone and stop dissing me for being into sitar repair. He for some reason just thinks everything I think is wrong. For instance he thinks because I play rudra veena I know nothing of sitar, and also he feels that since I am 18 I couldn't possible know anything of sitar repair because he is 57, with 10k works of woodworking junk and repairing instruments for 30 years. If anyone knows him, tell him to leave me alone, and not judge what I feel about ceratain aspects of repair. I mean a guy who calls pegs "tarbs" should know better.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
Re:Cruelty Aug 21, 2003 12:03 p.m.

Whoa Ted, chill out. I don't know Ken personally except through many emailings. From that, he has given me good advice on working with wood and associated materials, which is his professional speciality. And sitars being primarily wood, he knows good construction when he sees it. I don't know what words you've had with him, but realize he has the decades of experience you will also have one day. Look at it that way. Us old farts have already been where you're going!

OK, I'm not going to take sides here. I have been corrected my folks many years my junior, but I've also held my ground too. You two should come to an agreement between yourselves. A little give and take is in order.

Re:Cruelty Aug 21, 2003 02:36 p.m.

My point is, he doesn't have to yell at me when I dont even know him, and what I do musically and repair wise is none of his damn business. I dont care if he studied somewhere and has that much experience. He should learn to respect other peoples views on repair, and music.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
Re:Cruelty Aug 21, 2003 03:14 p.m.

Hey Beenkarji,
try the approach when programmers bash heads: deal only with specific problems, 1 at a time, and what the possible solution could be. Present evidence. Refuse to talk about anything else off topic.

The other aspect is that in general in user groups/forums etc. people tend to be more aggressive, defensive and angrier than they would be in person. Some people I have known to be rabid dogs on line are friendly and cool in person. If you are doing a good job and strive to do your best, and your customers are happy, who cares what a potential detractor has to say?


Re:Cruelty Aug 21, 2003 03:51 p.m.

Hey Ted... I wouldn't let him bother you. You have ample opportunity to prove your worth when you get your shipment in next month, and if I buy one I'll definitely give you an in-depth review. You have been very helpful to me so far and I don't think anything you've said has been outright incorrect so maybe people should respect your opinion. If anything variety of opinion is vital to our understanding of any concept- no one person is always absolutely right and we learn from each others' mistakes. I can see how this Ken guy may think he's high and mighty (and to a small degree he deserves the respect) but of course he's trying to cross the line by putting you down which is retarded. but think about our American culture... If a child displays any sort of remarkable ability he/she is inevitably chastised and told to "grow up" by some people, I'd say due to their own insecurities. Whereas in India almost all the great musicians I've read about had obvious ability at a young age and their elders guided and encouraged them to prove their talents. Maybe we're getting a bit too competitive here... but wait, we're all for the same cause right??
Re:Cruelty Aug 21, 2003 04:13 p.m.

I'm always right! Even when I'm wrong.
Jeffrey R King
Re:Cruelty Aug 21, 2003 04:39 p.m.

Right.............I think
Re:Cruelty Aug 21, 2003 05:02 p.m.

maybe you have to settle it the old fashioned way:
tell him to step outside, lock the door and make faces at him through the window

I don't see ken selling sitars..or does he?

element 82

Re:Cruelty Aug 21, 2003 05:33 p.m.

Well, I'd crack his gourd! Thats what I'd do. No good god danged tanpura player!
Re:Cruelty Aug 21, 2003 06:25 p.m.

Why not just "block" his emails? or delete 'em?
Did that ever occur to you?

Sorry, just seems silly.........welcome to the real world, it's a doosey, alrighty!Part of putting your email addy out there..........
Just remind yourself it's all a part of the Divine Lila....................ya can't be everything to everyone, ya know.........!
(hmm that reminds me of an Everclear song)

See ya round like a ferris wheel!

Re:Cruelty Aug 21, 2003 06:44 p.m.

Hi all,
First I don't sell Sitars. What I tried to do with Ted was help out a youngster who really has a habit of criticising nearly every sitar manufacturer, and every dealer without having once actually played any of their instruments as well as many other comments that are out and out fabrications.
It wasn't my intent to cause Ted any embarrassment which is why I intended to keep this off line. With his post above on this thread he has, again and typically, fabricated every statement he made as I said none of those things he attributes to me (as you shall see).
Those of you who know me here know that I will help anyone, however I do not like liars or people who totally misrepresent their skill level or knowledge.
Here is a young man by whose own admission has been playing a total of 6 years without stating teacher is. He claims to be a sitar wallah but has not been around long enough to develop any skill, no tools, boasts about owning more instruments than any adult could afford and makes rash and untrue statements on nearly every post.
I have no compunctions whatsoever about sharing the entire exchange of emails with this young man with any of you who wish to see the truth. I offer you this so that you can see exactly what has truly transpired and can judge for yourselves the tone and nature of my email which was to help him retain any credibility he may have left. I can be reached through my profile.
Uncle Ken
Re:Cruelty Aug 21, 2003 07:06 p.m.

Hi all,
On second thought, since Ted wants to make more rediculous and untrue statements here is the first email I sent Ted concerning his response to my post under "Tune in, drop out" on the subject of using water to swell grain:

Hi Ted,
Geesh, there is no finish on the pegs where they enter the neck therefore there is no finish to crack off. All the tarbs are made either out of Tun (mahogeny) or Teak, both woods have been used for centuries for boatwork due to their ability to withstand constant contact with water without rot or damage due to microorganisms. As a matter of scientific fact there is also no possibility for the peg to "continue to swell" without having additional exposure to water, further since both types of wood are the most stable woods (given their resonant qualities, unlike some of the more exotic woods like grenadilla, african blackwood, ebony etc.,)known as far as expansion and contraction (which is why they are used for musical instruments as well as boats) there is absolutely no possibility for it to swell to the point that it will crack the upper part of the dandi, not that both dandi and headstock haven't been cracked but this is not due to pegs swelling but more as a result of people pushing the peg in too far in an attempt to get it to catch after the tapered shaft has been compressed to the point of no friction.
What occurrs during constant twisting and shoving of the peg into the neck is compression of the fibers. Wood fibers are much like a bundle of straws, long narrow tubes with thin walls, when they are crushed (as long as no wood is missing) steaming or the introduction of water into them swells them back up and restores them to their original condition. There is no possibility of the water either damaging the wood or the moisture staying in the wood "up to a month" whatsoever, where did you get that? The simple immersion of the stem in the water will only allow the water to intrude on perhaps the first 1/32 of an inch in either wood, especially Teak given it's oily nature.
The use of sandpaper is simply the most expediant correction, not the best or most conservative and as such is the most widely used correciton. In nearly all types of repairs or corrective work there are more then one option.
You state that you have "had to repair that mistake many times" which seems highly unlikely given the aformentioned qualities of both woods, and many times? Ted you need to step back and take a long look at how you present yourself to others as some of the comments you make are nearly outrageous, seen Ravi many times? how many where, he doesn't tour or perform much these days and his venues are huge, try carnegie hall etc. You seem to be keen on Veena more than Sitar but a "Beenkarji" at 18 after only two years? pretty audacious statement, same with "I'm a Sitar Walla" perhaps sitar walla wannabe with a strong desire to do things correctly but the term Walla is typically associated with a high degree of skill and many years of experience. I am 57 years old, have been a player since age 14, have been repairing mostly stringed instruments for well over 30 years, own and use more than 10K dollars worth of woodworking tools and specialtly tools for guitar, flute, as well as violin and I don't consider myself a sitar walla. I have had two years of college Architectural woodworking in which we studied in depth the intrinsic qualities of woods with respect to their workability and their limitations, and this was in 1976 nearly 10 years before you were born. This doesn't mean that you can't have knowledge, which you appear to be developing, it just means that you do indeed have a lot to learn yet and will with the help of older folks. But no one will help you if you continue to be obnoxious about what you do know or if you exaggerate your knowledge as, quite obviously, you have already.

Uncle ken
Re:Cruelty Aug 21, 2003 07:22 p.m.


Let it be said, i don�t have the full picture here, i just read the thread and really have no idea what "Ken" might have said to Ted in the e-mails, since its not presented in writing. And its not that important, really! The important bit is that this forum is a place where we can ask questions and get answers, have fun, learn stuff and use for what its worth. I am in here to share experiences and get advice. If someone is soaking a peg or sanding it then so be it, all are free to give advice. There is many ways to reach a goal. And as long as we are balancing on the edge of realism, we are on the right track.

share and behave...


Re:Cruelty Aug 21, 2003 07:53 p.m.

Uncle Ken, you maneaged to post 2 msg. before i posted mine, hope that explains some of the missing logic : )
Its a little busy here...


Re:Cruelty Aug 21, 2003 10:33 p.m.

Uncle Ken, may I call you Uncle Ken? I dont want anyone to crack your gourd and you're not a no good tanpura player
May your gourds never wrinkle and your strings never go limp.
Jeffrey R King
Re:Cruelty Aug 22, 2003 05:39 a.m.

Hi Jan, Jeff,
Thank you both for your positive comments. And Jeff you may call me Uncle Ken anytime, by the way Jeff one of the things I mentioned to Ted off line was the way he handled your question on a previous post concerning pricing, simple question obnoxious answer.
Thanks again, also got some nice emails from some of you...thanks for that as well
yours....Uncle Ken
Re:Cruelty Aug 22, 2003 05:46 a.m.

Hi again,
Oops missed a chance to thank you Russ as well for your first up reply....Russ you've been a big help to me early on as well as Lars, both have sent me tunes and given me much info....thanks again all.....Uncle Ken
Re:Cruelty Aug 22, 2003 09:13 a.m.

Hello everyone,

I've read enough. What I do not understand is:

A) Beenkarji, why are you claiming to use a "pen"name for this person so as to not point fingers...but the pen name is his real name? How is that not identifying this person? Am I missing something?

B) If nothing was said regarding this matter on this forum, why was it necessary to make it a public issue? If someone is upsetting you - politely ask them to stop. If they do not, there are other steps you can take to stop what you are perceiving as harrassment. It is inappropriate to come on a public forum and bring up a private issue/conflict.

Re:Cruelty Aug 22, 2003 11:22 a.m.

Well, its not a user group until there is a drag out flame battle! Good one. Hey Ken, you are the one Beenkar mentioned? (I am a bit surprised he used your real name).

You have posted a lot here and offer sage advice. Don't get mad and leave! I think you have a good point: if you are marketing yourself as a *wallah, you better be able to back it up. You chose to do it private, which was a decent thing to do.

I would like to make one point about age though. I have know people that say they have done some particular task for x yrs, and are resistent to change. When in reality they may have been doing/understanding things wrongly all those years. I'm not saying that this is the case, but rather that it is something to consider. (I had a Latin prof who mistook the meter of some verse and misundertood the passage until some smart ass pointed it out. He said that he had been reading in that way all his career).


Re:Cruelty Aug 22, 2003 11:36 a.m.

A lot of us use our real names here. Why not? No problemo Ken. Glad to help. The way I see it, the point of this forum is to help one another and communicate a bit.

Good point about experience not being the final answer. I had developed a few bad habits in sitar playing I was unaware of until my teacher pointed them out. I've had those habits nearly 30 years, but now I know better, I'm making a conscious effort to replace them with the correct ways.

So now the flame war if over (I hope), methinks its time to end this thread too.

Re:Cruelty Aug 22, 2003 12:54 p.m.

Hiya pb,
You are without doubt correct. My primary instrument is Bagpipes (of all things) and I can't count the number of times I've heard "oh yes I've been playing for 10 years" and the truth is they have been playing like a first year player for ten years...That said you can be fairly sure that if a person has been employed in a trade for 10 years they, in all likelyhood, know what they are doing otherwise they wouldn't make it past the first year....ken..and thank you for your kind comments...
Re:Cruelty Aug 22, 2003 01:31 p.m.

A lot of people sticking up for Ken, which is great, he seems knowledgable and pretty cool. I don't want to take sides, but I will say that Ted, whether he's 18 or 48, does seem to have a fairly solid background, and I suspect when he gets some more years experience, he's going to be quite an asset to the ICM instrument community. So Ted, don't let any of this scare you away! It was just a bit of clash of personalities is all, happens a lot on the Internet, where we don't get the benefits of face-to-face. (Speaking of which, maybe some day we should plan a little get-together...)

Anyway Ted, stick around, and continue being helpful as I've known you to be. You are an asset to the forum, as is Ken.

And my two cents, I really didn't think not wanting to post the price of an instrument one is selling on the forum is obnoxious, its good manners. However, Ted probably could have given a reason for not doing so, and contacted Jeff personally.

Billy Enigmar Godfrey
Re:Cruelty Aug 22, 2003 04:06 p.m.

Okay, first of all, why did I make this whole topic public? Simply because I could not get through to Ken, and I just wanted to make a truce of some sorts. Second of all, we are all supportive of each other on this forum and I knew it would be much easier to work out on here. So why was angry, if not absolutely shocked at what Ken said, well I will give you quotes from the email for starters to explain....

"You seem to be keen on Veena more than Sitar but a "Beenkarji" at 18 after only two years? pretty audacious statement, same with "I'm a Sitar Walla" perhaps sitar walla wannabe with a strong desire to do things correctly but the term Walla is typically associated with a high degree of skill and many years of experience."

With proper knowledge one should know that a beenkar is merely someone who plays rudra veena, it does not denote any sort of respect or skill. And second of all Beenkarji is a nickname that many of my Hindustani friends call me and it just stuck. Even if I play rudra veena, I started on sitar when I was 12, so of course I know tons about the instrument. Sitar wallah does not denote skill either, it just refers to that as your primary profession.

"I am 57 years old, have been a player since age 14, have been repairing mostly stringed instruments for well over 30 years, own and use more than 10K dollars worth of woodworking tools and specialtly tools for guitar, flute, as well as violin and I don't consider myself a sitar walla. "

I dont see how 30 years experience and 10k dollars worth of woodworking supplies makes you superior or inferior, it is just 10k worth of supplies, what matters is the mind that is behind it. To be honest I dont even use a single power tool, I work by hand, power tools creep me out, I dont want to hurt my fingers.

"But no one will help you if you continue to be obnoxious about what you do know or if you exaggerate your knowledge as, quite obviously, you have already. "

I dont exagerate my knowledge, music is the only thing I study, I just tell people how things are and dont sugar coat things. There was also mention in a post about how he said I was judging the quality of sitars I have never played, well for your information I own a Naskar, , Hiren Roy, and Kanai Lal sitar and have played as well as worked on many of MPS, G, Rosul, MPS, and Rikhi Ram sitars, so I think I know what I am talking about.

So my point is, don't say stuff about me when you dont even know me, if you are still calling the pegs themselved tarbs rather than kunti, you should know better. And second of all you are a piper, I remember taking lessons for piping, I really didn't enjoy it (The whole strictness, and rigid position of the fingers), but I can tell you it wasn't a thing like sitar, so maybe you should direct your expertice into that field.
I wont post the second email because of the vulgar language, and out of respect. My main point is, who is he to criticize when he does not even know me, has he been to my house and seen my work? Has he heard me play? And what experiences or supposed skills in classical Hindustani music make me want to show respect to him. I want to make a truce, but I want an apology and some respect. I am a sincere person, I dont sugar coat stuff, if I told someone you should buy a sitar from Mid-East Mfg, and they are wonderfull, that would be absolute nonsense, and horrible advice. Likewise, when I leave comments on different makers and techniques it is merely for people to know, and consider.

Beenkar Ted Ceplina
Re:Cruelty Aug 22, 2003 07:32 p.m.

AMEN Jette!
I think you got to the "jist" of the matter most eloquently! Couldn't agree more!

hey Uncle Ken, tried to send ya an email, but the darn thing bounced back....wonder what I did wrong? anyways, kudos to you!
I, for one, greatly respect your skill and Dad was a pretty good carpenter, really excelled at finish work......had a natural "talent", I believe.....when I got around to asking him where he learned his skills, he basically told me he had spent a great deal of time with older skilled craftsmen, mainly closely observing and paying attention to what they were trying to teach of the main things I came to see was, that whether or not he particularly "liked" any of them, he had a very strong and deep respect for their skill and knowledge.......I have carried that with me in many other areas of life, as well.....
So my hat's off to you!

And again, I really think Jette said it all........!!!

See ya round like a merry go 'round!

Re:Cruelty Aug 22, 2003 10:48 p.m.

Hey Ted,
Its over . Lets stop the bickering (although I find it amusing) and enjoy this forum. I think everyone welcomes you here and there is no need for apologies on both sides.
Well thats my opinion and its worth exactly what you paid for it.
Jeffrey R King
Re:Cruelty Aug 22, 2003 10:55 p.m.

Hey Billy, did you get your Srishti standard yet? Just curious.
Jeffrey R King
Re:Cruelty Aug 22, 2003 11:38 p.m.

YES! I just got it a little while ago. Unfortunately, I also had to go to the doctor today, am in somewhat a bit of pain, and didn't do a whole lot more than unpack it and check for damage (there was none.)

I"m going to change out the mains to Pyramids tomorrow and tune it up, and then will write up a review, from a beginners point of view of course, tomorrow or whenever I'm up to it.

By the way, in case you're wondering, I have a special table next to the bed with my laptop hooked up to the network, so I can work in bed, even when somewhat otherwise out-of-order....

Billy Enigmar Godfrey
Re:Cruelty Aug 22, 2003 11:46 p.m.

Great! Looking forward to reading it. Didnt someone else here order a standard about the time you did? Who was that? Wonder if he got his too?
Jeffrey R King
Re:Cruelty Aug 27, 2003 09:53 p.m.

Beenkarji (Aug 21, 2003 02:36 p.m.):
and what I do musically and repair wise is none of his damn business.

Jeffrey "Gone to Hell" King
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