He internationally acclaimed flautist, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia brings his powerful music to town, in what is expected to be a treat for those with a penchant for classical music. Having lived through multiple generations, he remains a minority among Indian classical musicians who still manage to sell out concerts as easily on foreign soil as he does on home turf. But despite being an inspiration to plenty, he remains humble about his own. “My guru is Guruma. Learning from Ma Annapurna Ji was like learning from the Gods themselves,” begins Chaurasia, adding, “It is important to find a good teacher. A good teacher will make you understand and appreciate music. It’s not difficult to find that kind of a teacher.” And what did the great pandit learn best from his own guru? “I learned that music and spirituality are the same thing. They are both worship. And when worship becomes your life, you begin to look at it as a single entity,” reveals Chaurasia.
Motivated by the simplest of things, the pandit explains that you need only to look around you. “I am very privileged to have innumerable inspirations. I find that I am greatly stimulated by nature and greenery. Plus, when you have an audience that is encouraging, they turn into a muse, in time. It keeps you motivated,” shares the rebel flautist, who was originally frowned upon when he took up music. “I started out in music over 60 years ago. Till date, many of my family members are unhappy about my choice. They think I went against tradition and broke the rules by not following in the footsteps of my forefathers, as a wrestler, which was the family profession. I consider them archaic in thinking that,” he states, revealing that secretly, even back then, those from musical backgrounds were very pleased. “Probably more so now that wrestling is almost a forgotten sport. It is all about cricket!”
While people make music for varied reasons – be it to pursue a passion, to entertain or for the basic necessity of employment, the maestro respects their decisions. “They all sell their art. But for me, over the years, music changed from being art and culture to my calling. It is my way of life,” he philosophises.
April 18, 5.30 pm at Phoenix MarketCity, Whitefield. Tickets (Rs 500 up) at bookmyshow.com
— Aakanksha Devi