Krishna’s Heir

Flautist Rakesh Chaurasia,nephew of Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia,will perform with Ustad Zakir Hussain in Pune.

Written by Rushil Dutta | Published: December 5, 2013 3:06 am

Rakesh Chaurasia recounts how once at a family gathering,his uncle,legendary flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia,generously offered music lessons to the children present. About four-and-a-half-years-old then,Rakesh was the first to raise his hand in excitement,though he knew nothing about music. He picked the bansuri after his uncle and persevered at it to be playing along-side celestial figures in the world of music. Pune shall for the first time witness him share stage with Ustad Zakir Hussain on December 8.

“I was fortunate to be born into a family with a Krishna,” speaks Rakesh,reverently of his uncle. It goes without saying that Rakesh’s choice of instrument was imminent. “I wanted to play the instrument he played. Maybe I was destined to,” says Rakesh,who was hailed as a child-prodigy.

Rakesh looks back at the time when he first played on stage. “I used to be a very naughty kid in school,earning the ire of teachers,” says Rakesh,adding,“Then for a particular Teachers’ Day celebration at school,a friend asked me to play the flute on stage. He was also the only one in school who knew I played the flute. So,I put together a small piece on stage and my teachers were amazed. The next day onwards,there was no hostility. Music really can change people.”

His first encounter with Ustad Zakir Hussain was also when he was a child. “I first saw him play with Hari ji,and now I have had the privilege to share the stage with the maestro. I am certain he will play music with my children too,” says Rakesh,adding “Such is the energy this man possesses. Zakirji is still growing and remembers the style,melodies and idiosyncracies to the countless artists he has played with around the world.”

Rakesh is awestruck by Hussain’s dynamics on stage. “He has the ability to develop a quick chemistry with fellow musicians. To be able to play with someone like him gives an opportunity to musicians from our generation to broaden our horizons,”

says Rakesh.

Rakesh Chaurasia will perform with Ustad Zakir Hussain on December 8,6.30 pm,at Ganesh Kala Krida Manch

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