Even at 77, Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia is a frequent performer at Indian classical music events across the world. The veteran flautist always has a packed schedule, and his energy is inexplicable. He is known for playing the flute for hours. Ask him what keeps his energy high, and Pt Chaurasia says, “It’s because of the love of my fans and my caring family. Also, playing the flute is like doing yoga. In yoga, you are taught to control your breath. And the same goes for the flute.”
The artiste feels that though he is an ace musician, he is still learning, and that he can’t think of playing any other instrument. “Ek hi nahin ho pa raha hai (I’m not even able to do justice to one instrument). I have been practicing for 60 years, but I still can’t do full justice to it. I believe that one life is not enough to learn music. In this birth, I’m only learning,” adds Pt Chaurasia, who has also made a mark as a Bollywood music director.
The veteran musician had collaborated with late film-maker Yash Chopra on several projects like Silsila (1981), Chandni (1989), Lamhe (1991) and Darr (1993). In fact, Pt Chaurasia says that the director was in talks with him and his music partner, Pt Shivkumar Sharma (santoor player), to work together again. However, Chopra passed away in 2012. “Yash saab loved us and our music. He wanted to collaborate with us again to make something out of the box,” says Pt Chaurasia.
Though he is a classical musician, the flautist says he likes to listen to contemporary music. “The younger composers are doing some good work. I follow their music to understand what makes the new generation like their compositions,” adds Pt Chaurasia.