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Notes from my musical journey     

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By Hemang Chaturvedi

I started my journey in music when I was very young. At an early age, I observed and appreciated my mother humming the tunes of different songs. For any child, the voice of their mother is the most satisfying and the lullaby of a mother when recited to a child makes him/her sleep, and takes away all the problems.

Besides my mother, my grandmother and paternal aunt too have a musical background. Growing up, I enjoyed the beats and rhythm of western music and loved dancing on numbers such as ‘Shape of You’ or ‘Dance Monkey’.

Observing my interest, my parents bought a Bongo for me, when I was three. I loved playing it and gradually learnt to play the basic ‘Habanera’ on it. My grandmother had a conventional know-how of Tabla since she had practised and studied the instrument during her graduation. My mother plays guitar and grand-pa loves listening to all types of Indian classical music- both vocal and instrumental.

While my parents were busy with their respective jobs, I got the opportunity to spend a lot of time with grand-pa. He would explain to me the basics of various ragas. The first raga which he told me about was the raga Yaman–Kalyan. Slowly, I began learning about and appreciating the different kinds of Ragas. The singing of Megh-Malhar in a tele serial by Shanker Mahadevan fascinated me a lot.   

My interest in percussion instruments has continued since then. Sensing this, my mother arranged a tabla player to teach me at home. At school, our music teacher also encouraged me. I quickly picked up the basics of the tabla. Zakir Hussain Khan, the world renowned tabla maestro, is currently my hero.

My grandfather often sings the famous ‘Ganga’ song originally sung by late Shri Bhupen Hazarika (‘Visteer de opare ……’) at home. It’s melody leaves me in awe.

For a brief period I also learnt to play the keyboard and tried the mouth organ too.

Therefore, my brief and humble journey in music has made me realise that our age group can enjoy Indian Classical music in the same way we enjoy Rock and Pop. The soul of all music is one.

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