Friday, November 19, 2010

Doyen of Indian Classical Music - Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia

Very few have done more for popularising Indian Classical Music than Pt. HariPrasad Chaurasia. Arguably, the most versatile player of the Bansuri or the North Indian Bamboo flute, Panditji has taken classical music to the masses through his innovative style, immense knowledge and sheer dedication.

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.
"I was not any good at wrestling. I went there only to please my father. But maybe because of the strength and stamina I built up then, I'm able to play the bansuri even to this day." - he says

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! 


Pankaj A. Desai said...

Dear Vivek,

One of the finest moments of the YAKSHA video was perhaps when Sadhguru pays a compliment to Hariji and the maestro is taken in by sheer surprise and pleasure by it and laughs his heart out!

"There must have been very fabulous events that must have happened before we were born. One of them, we surely believe, was the scene that happened on the Yamuna banks. We were not there, maybe he (Hariji) was there!"

No doubts that, Hariji's music taken us to those celestial times when Krishna must have lived, like it does even now! ;)

Jai Gurudev!

Vivek Barun said...

Yes that moment was really amazing....
He is an antique..

Pradeep said...

Listen to Pt. Praveen Ghodkindi... i believe after Pt. Hariprasadji... if there is anyone who can create magic with bansuri.. then its praveen ghodkindi... :)

Vivek Barun said...

Yes. Pt Praveen Godkhindi is indeed magical. Being a student of his, I should know that. :)

Post a Comment