My Father - My Guru : Sourabh Goho writes about his father Pandit Jyoti Goho



Mar 27, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Rapidly rising North Indian Classical Tabla instrumentalist Sourabh Goho writes about his renowned father and Classical Harmonium exponent Pandit Jyoti Goho, his Guru Pandit Shankar Ghosh, and shares his on-going experience in apprenticeship of Indian Classical Music as a young disciple in the timeless traditions. A worthy son and a capable disciple, Sourabh expresses his gratitude and respect to his parents and his Guru. Washington Bangla Radio is honored to have previously published Melodic Musings - a biographical writing by Pandit Jyoti Goho himself, and also a feature on Sourabh Goho.

The Father-Child Relationship is a defining factor of the Fatherhood role. Fathers are naturally protective and supportive responsible parents who are able to engender a number of significant roles for themselves, their children and their communities. The amount of quality time spent together by fathers and sons has been proven to proportionately increase a child's social stability, responsible behavior, educational achievement and so on.

Pandit Jyoti Goho and Sourabh Goho
Pandit Jyoti Goho and Sourabh. Image courtesy: Sourabh Goho
Sourabh Goho with father and guruji
Sourabh with Pt Jyoti Goho and Guruji Pt Shankar Ghosh. Image courtesy: Sourabh Goho

I am learning to play the Tabla, and my father is an exponent of the Harmonium. But I treat my father also as my Guru, because he also shows me the path in different aspects of music. I am a 'Ganda-Bandh Shishya' of the great maestro Pandit Shankar Ghosh, learning under him for the past 11 years.

Ustad Zakir Hussain and Sourabh GohoUstad Zakir Hussain and Sourabh Goho
Rare pictures of Ustad Zakir Hussain and Sourabh Goho - image courtesy Sourabh Goho

Music is not only learning and playing the instrument or singing. For producing good music, you have to follow certain disciplines. My Father always says 'sur' and 'taal' when put together creates Music. To try to reach perfection, you cannot be weak in either.

Sourabh Goho (WBRi Photo-Shoot)My Father joined ITC Sangeet Research Academy in 1993 when I was only 2 years old. In the environment I grew up in, someone was always practicing music and I got to listen to Music throughout the day, starting right from early morning. In the evening when my father used to visit his Guru's residence, I also tagged along with him to listen to the Maestro of Kirana Ghara vocal - Late Pandit A. Kanan. It was a real pleasure to listen to  him from my childhood.  In the beginning, I lacked somewhat in sustained concentration, but over time I learned to Concentrate. After regularly listening to his music, I developed a love for Indian Classical Music, after which I would automatically concentrate, there's no other option! It has also helped me to listen to my father's practice. I learned to practice the same thing again and again, after seeing him playing the same phrase, perhaps even 100 times or more!

Sourabh Goho (WBRi Photo-Shoot)To tell the truth, my first Guru is my Father. I used to learn vocal music from him, when I was about 4 years old. He gave me basic vocal training regularly. But he in his wisdom realized I had a greater inclination towards ' Rhythm', and therefore he suggested that I should pursue playing the Tabla. So he took me to one of the finest Gurus, Pandit Shankar Ghosh. I started learning from him, since 1998. I was 7 at that time. But my vocal training with my father did not stop. Guruji also told me that I should also learn vocal music. He also asked my father to sit with me with his Harmonium. Whenever my father gets time, I always sit down with him and try to learn more from him. To be a good Tabla player, one should also learn at least a little bit of vocal music. It will help a lot when the time comes to accompany others, because the Tabla is not only a solo instrument, it is also used for accompaniment. If one learns both vocal music and instrumental Tabla, then only one can be a perfect Musician, as he will have a good sense of 'sur' and 'rhythm'.

Sourabh Goho (WBRi Photo-Shoot)I have a great tendancy to play something at a great speed. Maybe I am not even comfortable at that speed, but still I am crazzy to play at that speed ! But my father always advices me to practise the same thing in a slow tempo for atleast one hour. He says, "There is no music in speed, speeding is only done for public attraction". He also told me that does not mean that one will not play at a fast speed. He told me, during practise, one should play in a slower tempo for a longer time, then it will be much easy for him to play at a faster speed, to attract the audience.

Sourabh Goho (WBRi Photo-Shoot)My parents are my great inspiration. They influenced me in music. I learn a lot when I go with my father to concerts. I learn how to respect others, how to be polite and many other attributes. My father has a very close relationship with almost all Classical Musicians. I am really fortunate to interact and spend some time with them, and get blessings from almost all heavy-weight Tabla Maestros, including Ustad Zakir Hussain. Not many people are lucky to have the opportunity to groom themselves among maestros, so  I am really blessed to live among so many famous musicians, which is only possible because of my father. I think this will help me in the long run. I am really lucky to get a father like Him. Yes! he's my GURU too...

Sourabh Goho is a desciple of the great Tabla Maestro Pt. Shankar Ghosh and son of Harmonium exponent Pandit Jyoti Goho. His website is at