Keep them Safe
Bamboo for making bansuri is found in the extremely humid parts of the world.
As this bamboo is not anymore near to its native place i.e. it shall be taken to air conditioned studios, out-door performances bringing up various temperature swings with it. Be it scorching heat or chilling cold, the natural conditions of the bansuri should be maintained. Here we enlist few things which you must keep in mind and check whether the flute is not exposed to such factors which can leave its effect on the tonal quality of the flute.
1. Instant temperature swings should be avoided. Now it’s up to the artist how he/she wishes to protect his instrument. We recommend that leave the instrument inside its case until your body temperature gets settled with the temperature inside studio or hall etc. Your body temperature shall be a good indicator that the flute inside should also be ready to face the temperature change.
It is found that in the areas of extremely cold climate, we blow warm air in the bansuri, which makes the bansuri flute warm, this difference in the temperature of the surrounding air and the air inside the bansuri damages it. To avoid this damage to the bansuri, touch the flute in the area between the blowing hole and the first hole (Ma). If it is too warm then pause the playing for about a minute and let the bansuri come to normal temperature.
The people use heaters or fire to keep them and the surrounding warm, which results in dryness. There are two ways to protect your bansuri from such conditions.
Threading : Punamflutes thread their flutes as much as possible so as to maintain the safety as well as the original sound of the bansuri.
How to make thread youtube link is here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nax0CZBBnlY
Oiling : In dry weather, 3-4 drops of oil should be poured on a cotton cloth, then the cloth should be wrapped around a stick and rubbed gently inside the bansuri. One should ensure that there is no dust in the bansuri before oiling. Please avoid using oil in the bansuri in the areas which have lots of dust, specially in India and surrounding countries.
We assume the flutes are not kept in an air tight case.
2. Playing outdoor in extreme climates is not recommended. But if in case you have to perform in such conditions, pay attention to few things before and after the performance.
A. Follow the first point, stated above.
B. Clean the moisture which is created inside of the flute due to blowing, after the performance.3. Oil (use Sesame Oil, Olive Oil or mustard oil 4 to 5 drop) the flutes to avoid cracking and also it gives the bamboo strength. Oil is again optional. Some never feel like oiling the flute. The sound of the flute may or may not change after oiling. But if you must oil the flutes then try not to apply oil on it side bindings and on the exterior of the bansuri.
4. Last but not the least, when you are in love with your instrument, new ways are created and your Flute always feels secure with you. In short, a lot of respect and care, that’s all this instrument requires for its maintenance. Rest the fingers do for it when it's played.
How to clean fungus
Sometimes fungus grows on the bansuri in humid and cold areas, or when the bansuri is left unused for a long time.
To remove the fungus, use a very soft cotton cloth and repeat the process after every 2-3 days. If the fungus still remains, then wet the cotton cloth slightly and rinse it, there shouldn't be any water dripping from the cloth, and then try to clean the fungus again. Do not wet the cloth when you try for the first time. The cloth which you insert in the bansuri should be smooth to insert and remove otherwise it can cause damage to the bansuri.