Atmosphere in country has changed, Zakir Hussain says
PUNE: Tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain on Tuesday said the current atmosphere in the country was not the same as it used to be when he was a child.
Asked about the ongoing debate on intolerance, he said it was personally for him a "superficial dilemma".
"The current atmosphere (in the country) is not the same, with a layer of thought process which makes some of us believe that `he is not my friend' or he is not my brother any more'.... or, `he is not the same as me'. We must understand that as human beings we are one.The current superficial dilem ma should not exist. It is not part and parcel of our lives. We are all one with the natural instinct to be normal, loving and nice to each other," Hussain said.
The maestro was speaking to TOI ahead of his programme in Pune on December 6 where he will perform solo and also give accompaniment to a concert of Marathi Natya Sangeet (songs from Marathi musicals).
The 64-year-old Hussain said his father, Ustad Alla Rakha, worshipped goddess Saraswati all his life through music. He recalled how Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan would mesmerize the audience with the rendition of the famous bhajan, `Hari Om Tatsa', and how Ustad Ahmed Jaan Thirakawa would accompany Bal Gandharva for Natya Sangeet and both merged as one despite coming from different cultural backgrounds.
"My father was not confused about worshipping `Maa Saraswati'. He had a clear understanding of his position and commitment," Hussain said."There was no need to worry about trying to explain one is different from the other. He didn't think his beliefs were different from those of other practices."
The maestro said he went to church being a student of a Catholic school, went to the mosque being a Muslim and revered the many facets of Hindu philosophy and beliefs, one be ing `Gurrur Bramha, Gurrur Vishnu, Gurrur Devo Maheshwara', which meant the teacher is supreme. "I understood that these three were different names of the same practice and philosophy," he said.
Hussain also spoke about his concert this Sunday at the Ganesh Kala Krida Rangmanch in Pune which will feature his solo recital (with Sabir Khan on the sarangi) followed by the Natya Sangeet accompaniment to three young artists, Rahul Deshpande, Shaunak Abhisheki and Manjusha Patil."I remember playing for `Ekach Pyala' as a 15-year-old (around 1966) at Podar College in Matunga. I also played with Anna (Vasantrao Deshpande) for Katyar Kaljaat Ghusli some 40 years ago. My favourite songs remain `Karin Yadumani Sadana' and `Marma Bandhatali Thev Hee'," he said. "I used to go to musical plays with my father and see him play. I used to learn so that I co uld take over and stand in for him whenever he was unavailable due to his busy schedule," he said.
Hussain has this annual date with the Sa Va Ni organization in Pune. "I thought let's give something different to the Pune audience this time since I have not played this form of music for a long time. We planned it before Katyar's music was released. So, it is a happy co-incidence," he said.
Hussain emphasized that Natya Sangeet was the greatest of Maharashtra's traditions. "It is the sole reason that classical music reached common households in the state," he said. "The organizer of this concert, Surendra Mohite of Pune, is him self a tabla player. He understands how to cater to the needs of musicians. This concert is close to my heart because some proceeds from it will also go to charity . This year, it will be gi ven to Aparna Deshmukh's senior citizens' home ` Abhaalma ya'."
On playing with Deshpande, Abhisheki and Patil for the irst time, Hussain said: "I am quite excited. It gives me a chance to expand my horizons. It will be an open musical discussion on the stage. Since Rahul and Shaunak are trained classical singers, they are most qualified o sing Natya Sangeet. More shades of the ragas in the respective songs may appear through their renditions."
News Source : Times of India (2 December 2015) / http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Atmosphere-in-country-has-changed-Zakir-Hussain-says/articleshow/50005466.cms