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‘Tabla represents Indian music culture perfectly’

Apeejay School, Saket student Paritosh Yashwardhan wins the second position in the Zonal instrumental music competition for his tabla skills

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Paritosh Yashwardhan is a tabla maestro. The budding tabla player has recently won the second position in the Zonal level Instrumental Music Competition (Percussion) and is fast preparing to win accolades for his school in the District level tabla competition. In an exclusive interview, the class 12 tabla champ explains how his journey of learning this musical instrument unfolded. 

Since when have you been playing Tabla?

I have been playing tabla since class 3. I was seven years old back then.

 Why did you choose tabla as your instrument?

My father wanted me to connect myself to the world of music. Tabla is an instrument which perfectly represents Indian culture. In the golden period of modern Indian music, when Mohammed Rafi ji or Kishore Kumar ji sang, tabla would always be played alongside other musical instruments. My father loved listening to old songs and that’s where the passion came from. I started learning from Mr. Pradeep Sarkar, the former music teacher in my school. He was an excellent teacher.  I picked up the concepts very quickly, much faster than other students.So that helped. 

Tell me about the experience of participating in the zonal competition?

The school enrolls the eligible student for the competition. Our venue was a school in Sadiq Nagar. We were three competitors, one from Amity and the other one from a government school. I picked teen taal and played it along with all the possible variations within it. One has to perform or showcase one’s talent within 5-7 minutes. I played for 6 minutes and 53 seconds. I remember that!

Who is your inspiration in Tabla?

Of course Ustad Zakir Hussain. I see a lot of his videos. My father used to tell me to watch how Ustad Saab would work on the sounds. I admire Ustad Akram Khan and Pt Shailendra Mishra immensely. I have met Pt Mishra and have learned from him as well.

What are your future targets in Tabla?

I will be performing again in the zonal competition; this time at senior level. My target is that I represent my school at the state-level and win an accolade for my school.

What is your favorite taal in tabla?

Obviously teen taal since I am most familiar with it. I know in depth about it and am most comfortable playing it on the tabla. On this I can perform anywhere, anytime. I can play Bollywood songs on the tabla as well.

How did your school Apeejay Saket help you to learn Tabla?

Our former school music teacher Mr. Pradeep Sarkar taught me tabla. My father spoke to him to train me in tabla when I was very young. He built my interest in tabla and helped me find the talent for playing tabla in me. 

Arijit Roy is a young correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected]

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