Jim's Story:

 
I first met Patric Marks on Halloween 2004, and like everyone else who met him, we became instant friends. It wasn't just his personality, it was that special inner quality that only great people have. It didn't take me long to realize he was a great teacher as well, weather it was about music or life. Of course great teachers are also great storytellers, and Oh what stories he told! Never confined to one subject, due to his intellect and open mindedness, he could speak to anyone, on any topic, at any level, be it a child or an intellectual of the highest degree.

Every time I ventured into the world of Indian music, be it Hindustani, Carnatic, Bengali, or Gujarati, his in-sites and opinions were always informative and entertaining. Personally the stories were many, but three come to mind.  Of all our restaurant outings  (he was a true connoisseur !) our trips into the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago were great. (Pilsen is sometimes a very dangerous place to be - sorry for taking him Margaret - my idea).

The trip itself was always fun, but this little Mexican restaurant with authentic home-style cooking was his favorite. Since the area is 98% Mexican, one can immagine the steaks we got! On mor than one occasion people smiled and pointed and we smiled back. "Look, the imposing Indian man, and his blond haired gringo are back again!"
I love Indian food as much as Patric loved Mexican, and our trips to the outstanding Indian restaraunts were always an epicurean extraveganza. The hot (Gujarati) Delhi Darbhar, and the Pakistani Place on Roosevelt Rd were suberb. One day while savoring their wonderful food I heard this beautiful sitar music coming from the speaker system, and after asking Patric about it he said it was HE. The next week I had a recording of it.

An unbelievably flawless day in July 05 stands out in my mind and always will. The gigue was outside at teh very tip of Navy Pier, perhaps 20 feet from Lake Michigan. A cobalt blue sky looking down upon the Indian Wedding, and Guruji was sitting there playing with this big smile on his face, Dananjay and Susan at his side. He exhuded happiness, and along with the entire scene it was intoxicating. I found myself just standing there with a huge grin on my face, as though it were a piece of heaven. People passed by - Everybody was smiling, joyful, - feeding off his music and happiness. The suddenly no less than 25 drummers - with huge drums - came thundering around the corner much to our dismay. His smile was gone - the music ceased - the serenity dissappeared. A strange ending to the magical day.

Lastly - Since it's always been a dreqam of mine to travel to India, I always cherished/relished his stories of his homeland. Thes stories, among other things, gave me inspiration. Upon my return from India I couldn't wait to call him. The first thing Margaret said was he couldn't wait to hear my stories. This was November 2008 - the end was near - and as I sat in the hospital room, and later at his home, sharing my many adventures with him, there ws this intense, contented smile on his face. That same smile he had on Navy Pier, that same smile I had as I listened to HIS stories, and I couldn't help wondering if he was thinking the same thing I was - I WISH we could have gone there together, Next time we will !
 
Ki ab is waqt ve Sarasati Devi
ke charanon mai adna sitar
Ke madhur swar baja rahe hai
Aur Devi ma unse bahut kush hain!
 
Translation from Hindi:
 
I can say with complete confidence,
that at this time he is playing at the feet of Goddess Saraswati
and she is happy with him.
 

God Bless You Guruji.
Jim