Music was sadhana (worship) for the maestro. He was an unbelievable performer with a spiritual energy. He would do puja everyday and never sit down for his riyaz without having a shower.
Another incident I recall is from his daughter Anoushka’s school. After performing to a packed auditorium, he told me, “Arekta phara katlo (Another hurdle has been overcome)”. What astounded me was a man of his stature saying this after a concert for children.
He taught me a lot in life. In 1995, we were touring Japan. At a sit-down dinner with government officials, I had difficulty eating the half-cooked and raw Japanese food.
When he saw that, he leaned closer and said, “Bickram, you were born a Bengali boy, you can live like one and die like one. But, this is your opportunity to open up to other cultures and collaborate as a musician”. Immediately, I put the squid in my mouth.
He had never had any formal education, yet he could speak 15 languages and was aware about every incident in the world. There will never be anyone like him.
(As told to Ratnalekha Mazumdar)
Tabla maestro Bickram Ghosh played with Pandit Ravi Shankar for 11 years.
He reminisces his association with the great master.