‘I play music for its spirituality and not for material success’

Tabla maestro Pandit Kumar Bose is known in the classical music fraternity as a man with a mind of his own.

Written by Sukumarmtrivedi | Ahmedabad | Published: January 10, 2009 4:06 am

Tabla maestro Pandit Kumar Bose is known in the classical music fraternity as a man with a mind of his own.

The Benaras gharana exponent lives by his convictions and cares less about material success.

“I do not mean to say that money and fame are not important,but we,classical music artists,don’t make music for riches or fame. We do it for the spirituality attached to music. When material ambitions drive an artist,spirituality of music takes a backseat,” said Bose who is in the city to perform at the Saptak Music Festival.

Rumour has it that the maestro used to tie 40 kg stones on both his hands before beginning his riyaz (practice).

Asked if true,Bose said it was not stones but heavy ghunghroos. “I took a pair of heavy ghunghroos from a Kathak student in Benaras and started my practice. After sometime,I started using two pairs and continued practicing that way for four years before I thought it was not necessary any longer,” said Bose,adding that all that was done to keep his wrists still while playing.

Bose has now played with two generations of artists,right from Ustad Ali Akbar Khan to Anushka Pandit. Bose shed more light on his rigorous practice methods. He also admitted to going to crazy lengths in order to enhance his power of concentration.

“I used to do riyaz in the dark. I would sit in a corner,facing the wall and tie a rope around my neck so that

I could not turn even if somebody entered the room,” he said. Pandit Bose belongs to Kolkata and the Farrukhabad style of tabla playing is dominant in that part of the country. Then why did Panditji choose to learn the Benaras style?

“It was because my father had learned that style. But I think the Benaras style is the most complete style. It embodies all elements of classical music—vocal,instrumental music and dance. There are a few tabla players of other gharanas who play in Kathak,but they all essentially play in the Benaras style,” he said.

Today in Saptak
A flute recital by Master Adit Ravi,who will be accompanied by Pravin Shinde on tabla.

The students of Saptak School of Music will present an instrumental ensemble with Sapan Anjaria on tabla.

Vocalist Shubha Mudgal will perform with Aneesh Pradhan on tabla and Sudhir Nayak on harmonium.

The programme will conclude with a tabla duet of Pandit Sharada Sahay and Sanju Sahay with Ramesh Mishra on sarangi.

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