Premier Indian Classical Instrumentalists Ustad SHAHID PARVEZ (Sitar) and Pt. HINDOLE MAJUMDAR (Tabla) - Interview

Video: Up Close with Ustad Shahid Parvez and Pt. Hindole Majumdar

Ustad Shahid Parvez & Pt. Hindole MajumdarCalcutta, Jan 31, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations) A conversation with one of the premier sitar players of Hindustani classical music and a classical Tabla player is certain to be a revealing experience, if not outright awe-inspiring. Belonging to one of the oldest legacies of sitar playing in India, Ustad Shahid Parvez spoke unhurriedly, gradually unfolding the diverse gamut of his musical experiences. With him sat his fellow artist and companion, one of the most talented Tabla players of today, Pt. Hindole Majumdar. As the musicians sat talking in a room with several other keen learners, it was not difficult to see the pure affection they shared between themselves.

Ustad Shahid Parvez was customarily introduced to the music of the Etawah gharana by his father Ustad Aziz Khan, the son of legendary sitar virtuoso Ustad Wahid Khansahab. Although primarily practicing and acquiring mastery over the sitar, Ustad Shahid Parvez also received taleem in the Tabla from Ustad Munnu Khan. This gives him a well acquired sense of rhythm. This is why he is able to direct tabla players to effectively create the perfect unison with his sitar. Pt. Hindole Majumdar duly admitted Ustad Pervez’s influence in molding him to maintain the perfect rhythm. He also acknowledged the all round guidance that he received from Ustad Pervez which helped him establish himself as a complete musician. Pt. Hindole Majumdar considers himself fortunate to have first encountered the Ustad in his hometown in 1992 at the Serampore Conference. Thereafter, he continued to visit him and explore the intricacies of the harmony of strings. Two years later, they first performed together at the Neemrana Fort. The bond has sustained till today, as the duo continue to perform together all throughout the world.

While stressing on the importance of riyaaz in music, Ustad Shahid Parvez also mentioned that identifying the maqsad (goal) should remain the most important factor for youngsters while pursuing music. On being asked his views on the rising trend of ‘fusion’ in music, the Ustad promptly replied that although he held no reservations regarding fusion, he certainly did not approve of trash masquerading as music. Pt. Hindole Mazumdar also recounted episodes when they played all throughout the night at music camps called ‘shibir’. He humbly maintained that it was because of the senior musicians that he was able to gain the confidence to perform at bigger venues and never failed to acknowledge the overpowering presence of the Ustad in moulding him to a complete musician. The Ustad on the other hand upheld the fact that he remains a strict follower of the master-disciple tradition of Hindustani classical music.  He believes that it is the most appropriate manner in which an ardent musician can hope to achieve the dedication to be at one with his instrument.

As our interview gradually wound up to a conclusion, we realized that we had lost ourselves in another world and ironically forgotten our own maqsad. As we prepared to leave the room buzzing with hungry disciples, we realized we had transcended our former selves within a span of an hour of being with the masters. We emerged, a tad enlightened.

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