It is too late but still I am lucky to have it during my lifetime, said Ustad Lachhman Singh Seen,82,an eminent musician and scholar from Jalandhar who bagged the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for his contribution as a tabla player. Born on December 3,1927,in Punjab,he was encouraged to take up the art by his father Thakur Mangat Singh and mother Ishwari Devi. He learnt the nuances of tabla from Mian Kadir Baksh and that of sitar from Pandit Jia Lal Basant at Lahore. His son Manu Seen,a sitarist,said his father should have got the award much earlier. He said while no one had ever presented his case before Akademi members in Delhi earlier,Bhai Baldeep Singh,an akademi board member who represents Punjab,strongly put up his case this time.
Ustad,however,is not complaining. One cannot get any thing before the right time. Its all fate, he said.
The award that carries a citation,a shawl,a memento and a cash prize of Rs 1,00,000 will be presented by President Pratibha Patil at a special ceremony in March.