Will remain a 'vidyarthi' in next birth too: flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia
New Delhi : Legendary flautist and Padma Vibhushan recipient Hariprasad Chaurasia, who believes his life is for learning classical music, will open on Sunday, alongside his disciple, a three-month music festival celebrating the ‘guru-shishya parampara, at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai.
The flute maestro lives and teaches at his gurukul in Uttar Pradesh's Vrindavan. He has been a life-long disciple of Indian classical music doyen Annapurna Devi.
"She was my mother and my ‘guruma'. I never stopped learning from her, even while she lived with us in the gurukul," 80-year-old Chaurasia told IANS over telephone.
The 1992 Padma Bhushan recipient said it took over two years for his ‘guruma' to accept him under his tutelage.
"It took close to 2.5 years. It's like adopting a child. It takes time for a guru to accept her/his ‘shishya', but once they do, it's for life. When they find you worth themselves, they accept you," he said.
He has also received training from renowned flautist Bholanath Prasanna.
Chaurasia, who teaches disciples all over the world, believes the ‘guru-shishya parampara' is losing its feet.
"The ‘guru-shishya parampara' and the ‘gurukul' tradition is impactful, but is reducing in the classical music scenario.
"Earlier, gurus kept their shishyas like children; Took care of everything from their clothes to their music. They made them practise as per need. These days, the teacher teaches for three hours with an eye on the watch... Unless the student goes to a guru, she/he will never learn classical music properly."
Asked about his own teachings to his disciples, the master promptly replied that he learns from his students as well.
"My life is for learning music. I am a ‘vidyarthi' (student) in this birth, and will remain so in the next one as well," said Chaurasia, who has collaborated with several western artists and composed music for Indian films.
He will be performing along with his disciple Rupak Kulkarni at the "Citi-NCPA Aadi Anant: From Here to Eternity" travelling music festival.
It will feature performances by prominent tabla player Zakir Hussain, sarod maestro Ajmad Ali Khan and Carnatic vocalist-composer Sudha Ragunathan, among others.
The three-month festival will host performances in Pune, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru.