We had the good fortune of connecting with Ankit Patel and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ankit, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life can cruise on by without a backwards glance. The fact that it’s already 2022 blows my mind!

Over the past several years, I finished high school, got a college degree, started a business, got married, started a family, and pursued my passion on the side.

It can be hard to find purpose and meaning in your profession and identity, but I find that true contentment comes from the process of working toward my goals. Attaining them is secondary, icing on the cake.

For further clarification, refer to the Pixar movie Soul. 😉

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Professionally, I own and operate a pest control marketing agency called K3 Marketing. Simultaneously, I run a pest control internet marketing podcast called PCIM Podcast. I have a great team beside me, which allows me to focus on my passion, music!

I play a traditional Indian oboe called the shehnai. It’s a double-reed instrument, these days played mostly in Hindu temples and at wedding ceremonies throughout India.

The shehnai is considered an ancient instrument dating back 4,000 years. There are very few players of this instrument in the world today. It’s extremely difficult to play because the tones can be “bendy”—it’s very hard to stay on pitch. Additionally, because it is so ancient, few modern listeners summon much interest in it.

This is where I believe my brand, Shehnai Guy, shines. I feel as if I am bringing this instrument back to life! I’ve been creating modern fusion covers, which people are loving. It’s revolutionary.

I have a Guruji (a teacher) in Mumbai, whom I visit every year, albeit less so recently thanks to COVID. When I first expressed the desire to learn, he gave me a test (although I didn’t know it was a test at the time). He gave me an E-scale shehnai, sat down with me for a day and showed me the basics. He then told me to practice the major scale over and over for one year, one to two hours a day. That was it.

I’ve always loved the shehnai, its authenticity, its rawness, its soul! God bless my wife’s ears, I jumped right into practice and didn’t look back. When I went back to Mumbai the following year, he knew I was serious, and the rest is history.

My Guruji is so pure-hearted that he has never charged me a single penny for my shehnai or the lessons. He’s just so warmed by the idea that a person living in the USA wants to learn this instrument.

I practiced for an hour or two a day (minus weekends) for six years before I felt comfortable performing. 2020 was a great year for me to be creative, and I started my YouTube channel and made several videos. In 2021, I had the opportunity to play at many weddings across the country.

This journey has been amazing so far, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

I’m secretly a huge Disney music nerd, and when I retire, I would love to play the shehnai at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.

There is an underlying message in my story that I would like to share. I’m a traditionalist, and I believe that our cultural roots—no matter where we’re from—have beauty and value. Yes, it’s wonderful to embrace modernity and all it has to offer, but when we forget our traditions, our lives lose some of their richness and color as a result.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love taking my Husky to Piedmont Park. We always make a family trip out of it. Go to the dog park, then my son plays at the playground, then we go grab a bite to eat.

I love the restaurant Tabla in Midtown. Not just because I play Shehnai there sometimes, but because the food and staff are awesome!

World of Coca-Cola & the Aquarium are always fun.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
They say behind every great man is a great woman. In my case, there is no exception.

I would like to shoutout my beautiful wife, Archna.

Archna and I started dating when we were in college. She has been by my side since day 1. When building my business, there was a lot she had to sacrifice in terms of my time, going out, always checking email, etc.

She has always been very understanding, supportive and great ear to talk and bounce of ideas with.

To me, she is the epitome of kindness, beauty, elegance, and womanhood.

Website: https://www.shehnaiguy.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shehnaiguy/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/shehnaiguy

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShehnaiGuy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shehnaiguy

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/ShehnaiGuy

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