Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia: I want to compose film music once again - Hindustan Times

Flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia: I want to compose film music once again

Feb 26, 2024 10:12 AM IST

The flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia is open to guiding the new crop of musicians, but finds the newer film music ‘strange’

Veteran Indian classical musician Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, who has scored songs for films like Chandni (1989), Lamhe (1991), and Darr (1993) among others, would still like to compose film music. But he isn’t interested in taking on just any project.

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia
Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia

“Sher ki kya ichcha hoti hai? Ki woh shikaar kare! Par sher chooha nahi pakad sakta. Meri ichcha zaroor hai ki film music karoon, par badnaami nahi karwa sakta. People offer songs, but if the subject is not great, toh fayda kya? Kuch baat honi chaahiye. Now there is a new generation. I’m sure they will do better than me. And whenever needed, I will guide them,” says the Padma Vibhushan awardee, talking to us after a rare performance, in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

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The 85-year-old was part of the iconic duo, Shiv-Hari, with late santoor player and musician Shivkumar Sharma, and scored for films in the ’80s and ’90s. Talking about Silsila (1981), he says, “Amitabh (Bachchan, actor) ka Holi ka gaana (Rang Barse) is still popular. Koi naya kyon nahi aaya? Kyon ki uparwala combination bana deta hai, humara bhagya achcha tha.”

The flute maestro has no issues with the new crop of musicians, but he finds today’s film music “strange”: “I don’t blame them. The era of Mughal-e-Azam (1960) and Baiju Bawra (1952) is over. We don’t have those kinds of writers and makers anymore, so there’s no point living in it. As per today’s demand, they are serving music. But I can’t do that. I see music in films that have nothing to do with its premise. Humari body pe jo kapda match kare wahi pehenna chahiye.”

He, however, has hope and faith in our traditions. “Parampara is here to say, it will never go away! In fact, we are moving back to our roots. See, earlier youths were imitating foreigners in hairstyle and fashion but now they (foreigners) are embracing our style. Till date, kushti happens in akhara, mata-pita pariwar ke saath puja-archana karte hai and we celebrated Holi-Diwali with full fervour. Bahut badi baat hai.”

‘Krishna ji ke sewa ki hai, ab Ram ji ke samne bhi bajane ki iccha hai’

On coming to Lucknow and performing at the Pushpanjali event in memory of Padma Vibhushan Girija Devi, he says, “Apne gaon mein aadmi jab jaata hai to sher ho jata hai. How much people restrict me but I surely try jalebi and laddoo. Nawabi sheher hai yeh aur ab to modern bhi ban gaya hai. Bahut accha lagta hai! And, what to say about the audience. I have requested the Uttar Pradesh government that such shows should happen every year – bacchon ko kyon vanchit kiya, parampara kayam rehni chahiye. Krishna ji ke sewa ki hai, ab Ayodhya jaa kar Ram ji ke samne bhi bajane ki iccha hai!

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    Deep Saxena writes on Bollywood, OTT, television, food and culture for the daily Entertainment & Lifestyle supplement, HT City.

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