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Torchbearer of legacy

brunch Updated: Mar 23, 2013 09:41 IST
SD Sharma
SD Sharma
Hindustan Times
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Original and creative, sitar player Manu Seen is undeniably a young face of music in this region and a legend in the making. For Manu Seen, it was only natural to be what he is today — a brilliant sitarist who hails from the family of illustrious musicians of Ustad Lachhman Singh Seen, a tabla wizard of Punjab gharana.

Raised in Jalandhar in a musical environment, Manu learnt the finer nuances of sitar, tabla and gayaki in his usual routine. A postgraduate in English literature and music from GNDU, Manu’s popularity graph rose to significance as he won gold medals at inter-university meet in 1987 and President’s gold medal as AIR topper in 1988.

Manu gives full credit to his mentor and guru Ustad Shahid Parvez of Etawa gharana. “Though I started following the baaz style of Maihar gharana in Tantarkari and gayaki ang but the blessed tutelage of Ustad Shahid Parvez has added richer dimensions to my performing capability,” says the artiste who has been felicitated by various music organisations in India as well as abroad such as Virasat Foundation, Raag Mala Society, Canada, Universal Sacred Music, New York, Anhad Raga Tutorial International, England, Sur Shingar Samsad, Mumbai, Harvallabh Sangeet Sammelan, Jalandhar.

Sharing about his recent performances and lecture demonstrations along with the young tabla player Akram Khan at the universities of Victoria, British Columbia, Fraser Valley and more, he says, “We were thrilled to see the response, respect and interest evinced by them in our music. Unfortunately, things are the other way round here, especially in Punjab, which was once Mecca of classical music and spiritual wisdom.”

“No form of music is bad but our rich heritage of classical arts must be preserved and propagated,” feels the devout musician who is credited with albums like Melody Mood, Echoes of Love and Divine Experience.

With systematic learning and practice of classical music under guru-shishya tradition, the half-baked young artistes — striving for glamour of TV reality shows and career in films — can certainly do better,” says the sitarist, adding that there is no shortcut to find name fame and money in this realm.