Shweta Basu Prasad, known for her movies like ‘Makdi’ and ‘Iqbal’, launched a trailer in 2014 called ROOTS about dying classical music. It showcased her concern about how the youth is going away from classical, tradition music and culture.
Years later the documentary will be premiered at the Kala Ghoda arts festival on February 10. In a conversation, Shweta tells us how her curiosity for the visibility of classical music developed while growing up.
“I didn’t have enough friends who were interested in classical music. Like most youngsters, they thought it’s not ‘cool’. I wondered why so? I was the same age as my friends and I had been a listener. I realised it was the lack of exposure. Be it television, films, radio – classical music is not the first genre one would tune into. And it shouldn’t be. One should be open to all kinds of music – Bollywood, pop, rock, jazz, folk and classical,” said Shweta.
She had a keen interest to understand the reason for the slow death of classical music in this country and especially amongst youth. It took her four years to research and make a team. She says, “I feel ROOTS is like a blessing and it has been a great journey.”
ROOTS not only shows how Shweta feels about classical music but also showcases the feelings of some of the prominent personalities in the industry like A R Rahman, Vishal Bhardwaj, Gulzar, Amit Trivedi, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Birju Maharaj, Imtiaz Ali, Shubha Mudgal, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Dr. L Subramaniam.
She adds, “As I interviewed them, I sensed it wasn’t just my concern, they too were as concerned about the promotion of classical arts amongst the youth. It is a very special and emotional moment for me. I feel like I am about to share a part of me with the world. I look forward to a good screening and would love to screen it at many other music festivals, film festivals, art festivals, schools and colleges, etc. ”
The documentary film also has a 10 minute animation sequence featuring the 5000 years of Indian music history.