Born in a non- musical family, his father was a wrestler and he expected his son to be the same. He started learning music hiding from his family in secret spots but could not tell his father that he had no interest in wrestling.
After learning Indian Classical vocal for sometime he went to the reclusive Smt Annapurna Devi ( thought of by many as the true vault of knowledge of Indian Classical Music). He had to persist to become her student. After persisting 3 years, yes! 3 years during which she even threatened him with police action!, she finally had to accept him as a disciple. For years Panditji had played flute as a right-handed player , for his Master he even changed that to left-handed.
People who play any instrument will understand how big a sacrifice it is. Years of learning has to be unlearned. It becomes like learning a new instrument. But his will to learn was so strong that he was willing to give it his all. And he did.
Been awarded the Padma Vibhushan ( the second highest civilian award to an Indian) and KNIGHT IN THE ORDER OF ARTS AND LETTER (“Ordres des Arts et Lettres”), the highest civilian award of FRANCE, is not the exact reason I'm writing this post.
I'm writing all this to celebrate that here is a true artist whose love is solely his music. Born in 1938, older that the country itself, he still plays!
Here is a video of 2010 in which he is playing.
In 2010 he is still doing tours at the age of 72.
Hats off to him!