Banarsi music is passion for this artiste | india | Hindustan Times
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Banarsi music is passion for this artiste

THE BANARASI style of music is unparalleled and appreciated by people of different corners of the country. Meet Pandit Channu Lal Mishra, an artiste with a difference. A resident of Hariharpur village in Azamgarh district, Mishra was born in 1936. He shifted to Muzzaffarpur in Bihar for nine years to learn music under the tutelage of Abdul Ghani Khan. He finally came to Banaras (now Varanasi) where he was groomed in music by Padm Bhushan Thakur Jai Dev Singh.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2006 00:19 IST

THE BANARASI style of music is unparalleled and appreciated by people of different corners of the country.

Meet Pandit Channu Lal Mishra, an artiste with a difference. A resident of Hariharpur village in Azamgarh district, Mishra was born in 1936. He shifted to Muzzaffarpur in Bihar for nine years to learn music under the tutelage of Abdul Ghani Khan. He finally came to Banaras (now Varanasi) where he was groomed in music by Padm Bhushan Thakur Jai Dev Singh.

Misra has been living in Varanasi for the last 36 years and has scaled glorious heights in the field of music.

He shot to limelight after performing in the wedding reception of actor Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao held in Panchgani recently, where he was among the few guests invited to perform the traditional Banarsi style of music, including ‘thumri’, ‘dadra’, ‘chaita’, chaiti’ and ‘ghato’.

In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, Mishra talks about his passion for Banarsi music, which has earned him fame across the globe. It may be mentioned that Mishra received a call from Aamir Khan inviting him for his wedding at Panchgani in Maharashtra.

“In fact, Kiran has been my disciple. She wanted me to seek my blessings and also entertain the selected group of guests with Banarasi style of music,” Mishra said. He spoke excitedly about the grand welcome extended to him by Aamir Khan.

He said when he started with ‘Barsan lagi baderiya room jhoom kai....’, some guests started dancing to the tune. He said Banarsi music had a great spiritual power.

Mishra has been honoured with several awards, including the Sangeet Siromani Award by the Bihar Government, Naushad Puraskar by the UP Governor and the Sangeet Natak Academy Award.

The widely travelled Mishra is critical of the government’s style of bestowing recognition upon the artistes.

“I wonder why the artistes are asked to fill up forms for claiming awards,” Mishra said, adding that it might sound good for junior artistes, but was an insult to those who had achieved name and fame.

Citing an example of Shubha Mudgal, Mishra said, “This junior artiste could get the Padm Shree and senior artistes are ignored just because they never indulge in building ‘pressure’ for awards. Renowned artistes should never beg for ‘official recognition’.”

Mishra went on to say that if he still could not win the hearts of others, the fault lay in himself. He explained his point in the form of a couplet:

“Tujhey aitbarey ulfat jo na ho saka abhi tak,Main samajh gaya yaqeenan abhi mujh main kuch kami hai.”