Heeding the call of the flute

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia opens up about the evolving nature of music, Bollywood and his hope for future artistes.

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia is a living legend. One of India’s most celebrated musicians, he has been weaving magic with the flute for decades now. The musician is a strong believer in the gurukul system of training students and is widely known for his efforts to help underprivileged children in their musical training. Speaking about his idea of a world where every talented child can afford to learn music,he says, “I have come empty-handed and I will leave empty-handed. What matters is what I do for society in my brief time here.”

Acknowledging the importance of good teachers in one’s pursuit of music, Pandit Chaurasia says, “It is necessary for young musicians to have dedicated teachers. The primary education of young musicians is extremely important. And the second thing is they need to constantly feel like students, regardless of how successful they become. I still feel like a student and I go back to my teachers and ask for advise.”

Speaking about the era of fusion music, the maestro seemed skeptical. “Anything new is great. However, one needs to understand not everything new complements the traditional. You cannot really have cola with rice, to be honest.”

He doesn’t seem to be impressed with the music churned out by the entertainment industry either and he says, “Haan, Bollywood hai, chal hi raha hai. (Yes, it is Bollywood. It is surviving. Nothing much to it).”

When asked about his favourite artist in the last five or so years, he replies with conviction, “All of them. Every kid in the music industry is working hard and struggling with the competition. I see kids these days fearlessly performing and sharing their music with the audience. At their age, I did not have this much courage to perform in front of such huge crowds. They deserve all the support possible.”

Hyderabad holds a very special place in the maestro’s heart as he has visited the city on numerous occasions. On Sunday, the musician was scheduled to be here for a felicitation by L.V. Prasad Group's Ramesh Prasad.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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