Rishikesh’s musical instrument maker was someone Dia Mirza will ‘never forget’

69-year-old Didgeridoo maker Mukesh Dhiman passed away of cardiac arrest at his residence in Rishikesh on October 11. Didgeridoo is considered as the oldest known musical instrument in mankind’s history.
Late Mukesh Dhiman playing Didgeridoo at his residence in Rishikesh.(HT Photo)
Late Mukesh Dhiman playing Didgeridoo at his residence in Rishikesh.(HT Photo)
Updated on Oct 17, 2020 12:01 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Dehradun | ByKalyan Das | Edited by Sparshita Saxena

Uttarakhand’s Rishikesh is globally known as the yoga hub and spiritual base camp for the sacred Himalayas. It was also home to a much-loved artist, 69-year-old Didgeridoo maker Mukesh Dhiman, whose demise has drawn tributes from all over the world. Didgeridoo is an Australian aboriginal musical wind instrument.

Dhiman was known for his art of making Didgeridoo, which is considered as the oldest known musical instrument in mankind’s history with its roots in Australia. He passed away of cardiac arrest at his residence in Rishikesh on October 11.

Dhiman, used to make Didgeridoos for the last forty years after being taught the art by an Australian tourist in 1980 in Rishikesh. Since then he made hundreds of the hollow log-based wind instruments and also taught the art of making it and playing it to many people with most of his pupils and followers from foreign countries. Ever since his demise, his followers have been paying tributes to him on social media platforms.

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Bollywood actor and UN Environment goodwill ambassador Dia Mirza also paid him a tribute on her Twitter handle.

Sharing the news of his demise she tweeted, “Mukeshji is someone I will never forget. a remarkable human being. A kind, gentle soul. He never locked the door of his home. Handcrafted and taught people how to make the Didgeridoo. A truly special interaction with him on Ganga- The Soul of India.”

One of his followers, Eyal Amit from Israel who also made a documentary on him, posted on Facebook, “My dear and beloved friends, unfortunately, there is no easy way to write this. My beloved and legendary teacher separated from this world this morning (October 11) and moved on.”

“I am still having trouble digesting the gospel and finding words. If you are able to light a candle, incense stick for the elevation of his illuminated soul, I would be very grateful. May he rest in Eden,” wrote Amit.

Idan Hojman, his admirer and student from Spain, wrote, “Dear Mukesh, thank you for all the wonderful moments we shared together. For all the teachings, music, jungle vibes, art, adventure and so much more. “

“You inspired so many people and touched so many souls. May you rest in peace dear friend and master. Your light will keep shining in our hearts,” wrote Hojman.

Another follower from Argentina, Nicolas Larocca, paid him tribute by dedicating a 2-minute 57 seconds song titled ‘Gracias Mukesh (Goodbye Mukesh)’ on Facebook.

HT had spoken to him in January this year during which he was working on his ‘dream’ studio up in the Himalayan foothills of Rishikesh with the help of some of his foreign friends and four sons. He had then said that his new studio in the lap of nature would be his abode for practising the ancient wind instrument away from the hustle of Rishikesh town.

One of his sons, Sourabh Dhiman, said, “We will carry on our father’s legacy of making Didgeridoo and teaching others how to make it.”

He said, “We would complete his dream studio which was left incomplete due to the lockdown. The studio would be his memory and a heartful tribute.”

Sourabh also informed that ever since the news of his father’s demise broke, he has been receiving calls from people all across the globe to offer their condolences.

“All of them are very upset. They said that they will come here as soon as the international flights are resumed,” he said.

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