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Picking up Sarod was as normal as having a glass of water: Ayaan Ali Bangash

Ayaan And Amaan Ali Khan - Darshan Bagwe
Ayaan And Amaan Ali Bangash (Photo by: Darshan Bagwe)

Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Bangash, whose family claims to have invented the musical instrument Sarod, has enthralled the world with his raags for decades now. Similarly, his sons – Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash- too have held the audiences captive with their power play in the world of Hindustani classical music on Sarod. The Khan brothers attribute their success to their abba (father) because for them, unlike others, learning Sarod came naturally. In a candid chat with Nation Next, Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash share with us why they feel that a part of the younger generation is still interested in classical music and how reaching the audience is important for an artist.

Excerpts:

Your father said a wise man doesn’t allow his son to become a classical musician because of the uncertainty and insecurity of a livelihood. Despite coming from an illustrious background, what made him say this

Amaan: It’s (success) all because of him! Had we not been his sons, whatever little we’ve got wouldve taken a lot of time. Unlike us, a lawyer or a doctor knows how much hes going to earn. Musician, actors and artists do not know what will happen. Either it would be too good or too bad. I agree with my father but agree to disagree a bit too. We keep discussing the same with our father. Hes had an unfortunate relationship with most of his disciples and he somewhere feels that it’s a waste of time because one expects a lot from his disciples. Before Ayaan bhai and I came into the scene, musicians who are elder to us faced the problem of uncertainty of future. Abba now feels that everyone should have a backup plan so that if their work is not successful, they have a fallback plan.

Ayaan: I think what he (abba) means is entirely from the practicality of the financial perspective. There is no assurance of what will happen tomorrow. A youngster recently told me that he wants to play Sarod so how shall he go about it? I asked him to keep working hard and start performing. I told him to get his educational degree in hand so that tomorrow he doesn’t blame his parents or Guru if things don’t work out. Unfortunately, we Indians end up blaming our parents for our failures.

Somewhere youngsters do not appreciate classical music. Do you feel worried about your followers

Ayaan: Amaan bhai and I have been extremely fortunate. We have been playing Sarod for so many years and for some reason, the two of us never faced this issue of youngsters not coming to our concerts. We’ve always had a large number of students as our audience. We’ve also performed at IITs and IIMs. We cannot paint everything in one brush and assume that the youth is not interested. There’s a section of youth that likes Yo Yo Honey Singh but there’s a section that does not like him. They prefer AR Rahman. When you talk of lounge music or trance, technically if you hear it, it’s totally instrumental music. It’s not that such music has lyrics that people would understand. At the end of the day it’s about the pleasure, which music gives to your ears and soul.

Musicians today seem to be very passionate about musicians rights, the anti-piracy battle and now the insurance for musicians. What do you say about this

Amaan: All this will still take some time because it’s not a planned industry yet. I feel Shubha didi (Shubha Mudgal) is the person you should be asking this to.

The history of Sarod is synonymous with your familys legacy since generations. Growing up, was there an expectation that you were supposed to carry on the family tradition or did you make a conscious decision to dedicate your life to music? 

Ayaan: Music and Sarod have been the greatest wealth, which abba wanted to share with us and that’s why for us, picking up the Sarod was as normal as having a glass of water. Words such as ?legacy? sound good but eventually what matters is how you perform on stage. At the end of the day, if you aren’t taking your work seriously and people don’t love you, then words like legacy have no relevance.

Amaan: Legacy doesn’t belong to you. You put your hard work and who ever works hard, everything belongs to that person.

Do you prefer any particular genre of music? Which artists are we likely to find in your playlist? Do you listen to your own recordings for recreation?

Ayaan: I listen to every genre. I do listen to a lot of my recordings because I can point out my own mistakes and learn from them.

With this generation, there is a hefty amount of irreverence. Since you belong to this generation, you must be identifying with that as well. How do you deal with this irreverence with that kind of discipline?

Amaan: What matters is ones code of conduct. You have to take your audience like a challenge. Even in a movie theatre, with the biggest of actors today, they cannot take their audience of granted because the audience walks out if they don’t like the movie. Problem starts when artists take their audience for granted. The moment you take everybody seriously, that is when things start falling in place. Don’t play something, which the audience won’t understand. Rather, try to explain what is being played. I don’t like to use the word ?entertainer? because it’s not the right word but that’s the truth. We have to entertain people. The audience has bought tickets so, when they go back home, they should feel it was worth the money.

Due to the immense patience and rigorous training involved in playing the instrument, one would think that the number of Sarod players in India are waning. Do you plan to provide online lessons for the people who find training inaccessible and unaffordable?

Amaan: There are many skilled Sarod players who are coming up now. They are extremely talented. At times, I hear them on YouTube and feel that we are gone now! (Chuckles) As far as moneymaking is concerned, it’s not a problem with classical music. Some or the other way, you do manage the money part of it.

Ayaan: We do plan to open some institutions in South India and other parts of the country where we can teach music as a way of life but it’s not falling in place as of now. We are usually travelling so sometimes for a performing artist, to get into the administrative parts of an institution is not possible. But, we intend to do it soon because nothing is right or wrong. Everything is as per convenience. Sarod is not an instrument, which can be taught online unlike vocal music. But, there are people who are teaching people across the world. Everything is much more accessible today.

Since you are young and savvy, how do you plan to rope in technology to promote Sarod What more can be done to educate the youth?

Ayaan: I think it’s very important to do an outreach. In abroad, when we perform, it’s a part of the contract that we would be performing in a huge auditorium. A day before our concert, there’s an outreach programme in prominent universities. Suppose you are going to perform at San Francisco, Stanford University would have a workshop a day before. These kinds of activities don’t happen here. Like for Kalidas Festival, I wish Nagpur University had done a workshop a day before our concert. We would have loved to perform.

Amaan: There was our fathers generation where we had musicians like my father, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Ravi Shankarji, Ustaad Zakhir Hussain, Shiv Kumar Sharmaji, etc. They existed because they could connect with the audience because they would reach out to the audience. Post that generation came a generation, with all due respect to all the talented musicians, who couldn’t connect with the youth (growing audience). That’s where the problem started. For e.g. After Jagjit Singhji or Pankaj Udhasjis work, ghazal khatam ho gaya! Having said that, it (ghazals) didn’t come to an end, rather, there are no musicians left today. They are not being able to attract audience towards themselves.

What do you say about online lessons available on Internet?

Ayaan: Sarod is not an instrument, which you can teach through an online class to be honest. You need to sit and learn. Though there are many passionate people across the globe who are eLearning music. Earlier, people use to secretly listen to Gurus while practicing. If you YouTube classical music today, the number of musicians you see now are much higher than they were previously when my father was growing up. Thanks to the platform, people are able to share music but there’s no quality control. Having said that, this generation is lucky to have such heavy access to variety of music over a click. Initially, even procuring reference recordings was difficult. No book ever conveyed how classical music should be presented because it was an oral and not a written tradition. So, everyone did what he or she thought was right. So today, if you are repackaging classical music without compromising on aesthetics, there’s nothing wrong. You have to make sure that you are initiating your craft to a new audience and they should come back to hear you. You can’t intimidate your audience with one raag for hours. Not that we haven’t done that but you should know what to do where and the idea should be to get maximum interested people. You have to make your music presentable.

Father and son by blood and Guru-Shishya by tradition, what is it like when your father is also your guru?

Ayaan: I always say that our relationship is like Bruce Wayne and Batman. The change is so instant and effortless. When we were younger, we would be puzzled at times when abbas students would get up and greet him while we were sitting because we were pampered kids. But eventually, when you become mature, you realise the difference between the music room and the living room. Gradually, you pick up the right thing to do and even today, I would share a guru-shishya moment on stage with abba. If I get two minutes in between the performance, I would share a father-son moment too. No doubt it’s an effortless dual relationship.

Classical music is more about being spiritual. There’s one more aspect that is the business aspect, which is always tension oriented. Can you afford to remain calm about it all the time? There must be highs and lows in the business

Ayaan: You should not been an extremist.

Amaan: Sometimes, there is one concert and sometimes there are 10 concerts in a month. One has to be patient and has to believe in his talent and God. One has to keep working hard; things fall in place. If you get frustrated, then you are ruined. Abba always gives us an example that when an ant tries to climb a wall, it keeps falling but it never gives up. One should always believe in himself.

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National

Constitution day | Bet you didn’t know these interesting facts about the Indian Constitution

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Avani Arya | Reporter : Shamanand Tayde | Nagpur

Constitution Day is also known as “National Law Day”. It is celebrated in India on 26 November every year to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India. Know some interesting facts about the Indian Constitution in the video.

सभी को पता है कि India को 15 अगस्त 1947 को independence  मिली थी.साल 1949 में 26 नवंबर यानी आज ही के दिन india  का constitution  बनकर तैयार हुआ था. India का constitution  26 जनवरी 1950 से लागू किया गया था. इसके साथ ही भारत में हर साल 26 नवंबर को constitution day  मनाया जाता है. India का constitution  दुनिया के सभी constitutions को परखने के बाद बनाया गया था. इसलिए इस constitution को सबसे Important constitution कहा जाता है. 

Indian Constitution से जुड़े ऐसे कई Interesting Facts हैं, जिनके बारे में जानकर आप हैरान रह जाएंगे. भारत देश के citizen होने के नाते बच्चों से लेकर बड़ों तक, हर किसी को Constitution Of India से जुड़े ये Interesting Facts  जरूर पता होने चाहिए.

क्या आप जानते है कि  Indian Constitution  World’s Longest Constitution  है. Indian Constitution को लिखने के लिए  dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar को  Father Of Indian Constitution भी कहां जाता है.  डॉ. भीमराव आंबेडकर ने Constitution  को दो साल, 11 महीने और 18 दिनों में तैयार कर India को dedicate किया था. इसके कुछ हिस्से America, Germany , United Kingdom , Australia , Ireland , Canada  और Japan  के Constitution  से लिए गए हैं.

26 नवंबर 1949 को Indian Constituent Assembly की तरफ से इसे अपनाया गया और 26 नवंबर 1950 को इसे एक democratic government system के साथ लागू किया गया था. बाबासाहेब आंबेडकर के योगदान को याद करने और constitution के importance का प्रसार करने के लिए constitution day  मनाया जाता है. Indian Government  की ओर से पहली बार 2015 मेंconstitution day  मनाया गया. 29 अगस्त 1947 को भारत के constitution का draft  तैयार करने वाली Committee की स्थापना हुई. जिसमें chairmen  के रूप में डॉ. भीमराव अंबेडकर appoint हुए. जवाहरलाल नेहरू, डॉ राजेन्द्र प्रसाद, सरदार वल्लभ भाई पटेल, मौलाना अबुल कलाम आजाद भी इस सभा के main members  थे.

क्या आप यह जानते है कि Indian Constitution  में 448 Articles, 22 Parts, 12 schedule और 97 amendment हैं. Indian Constitution की दो copies  हाथ से लिखी गई हैं, जोकि Hindi  और English  language में हैं. इसमें किसी भी तरह की typing या print का use नहीं किया गया था. दोनों handwritten copies पर 24 जनवरी 1950 को उस समय के 284  members of parliament के सामने Signature किए गए थे. Indian Constitution को बनाते समय कई देशों के  Constitution को study किया गया था. हमारे constitution  में देश के citizens के fundamental rights, Duties
 और government machinery के बारे में Detailed Information  दी गई है. इसमें ये बताया गया है कि President, Prime Minister , Governer  और Chief Ministers  की क्या powers हैं और किस तरह से Legislature, executive और Judiciary काम करती है.

Constitution  बनने से पहले भारत में British government  की ओर से  बनाया हुआ act 1935 लागू किया जाता था. Indian Constitution के rules  के मुताबिक Republic Day के मौके पर राष्ट्रपति और Independence Day के मौके पर pm देश को addressed करते है.

तो यह थे Indian Constitution से जुड़े कुछ Interesting Facts

Script by – Shamanand Tayde

Also Read: ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans raised during Rahul Gandhi led Bharat Jodo Yatra, claims Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Chouhan

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Politics

‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans raised during Rahul Gandhi led Bharat Jodo Yatra, claims Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Chouhan

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Avani Arya | Nagpur
“Pakistan Zindabad” slogans were being raised during Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra, claimed Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan on November 25.

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Chouhan, Bharat Jodo Yatra leader Rahul Gandhi

“Pakistan Zindabad” slogans were being raised during Rahul Gandhi led Bharat Jodo Yatra, claimed Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan on November 25. He also said that he has ordered a probe into the incident.

Earlier that day, BJP leaders alleged that partakers in the Yatra shouted ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ in Khargone, Madhya Pradesh. A controversy flared up after BJP State President VD Sharma and other party leaders shared a video on social media claiming that ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans were raised during the rally.

Calling it a conspiracy by the BJP against Rahul Gandhi, Congress Party denied the claims. Yatra entered Madhya Pradesh on its 77th day of the Padyatra on November 23.

Covering a total distance of  3,570 km, Congress claimed that Bharat Jodo Yatra is the longest march on foot by any Indian politician in the history of India. It started from Kanyakumari on September 7, and will end in Kashmir next year.

Also Read: Kejriwal accuses PM Modi of waving off huge loan defaulters ‘behind closed doors’

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Social

Twitter to allot Blue, Grey, Gold check marks to users starting next week: Elon Musk

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Avani Arya | Nagpur
Twitter’s new verification program is all set to launch in the coming week, although with different colors this time

Elon Musk

Twitter’s new verification program is all set to launch in the coming week, although with different colors this time. Elon Musk has announced that Twitter will start to manually allot Blue, Grey and Gold check marks to organizations, governments and Twitter Blue subscribers.

The decision came to surface following impersonation issues like – users buying the subscription plan and impersonating famous personalities to mislead people. The feature was rolled back soon after. 

Musk elaborated on the topic by saying that the companies will get a gold check mark, government will get a grey check mark, and blue for celebrities or not. Calling the process painful but necessary, he further added, “Sorry for the delay, we’re tentatively launching Verified on Friday next week. Gold check for companies, grey check for the government, blue for individuals (celebrity or not) and all verified accounts will be manually authenticated before the check activates.” 

For Twitter Blue subscribers, users will get Blue Tick of verification along with priority in reach and display on the social networking site. All this, if you are willing to pay $8 in the US or ₹719 in India – per month.

Also Read: If I’ve a genuine friendship with someone, that relationship is still labeled and that affects me: Kartik Aaryan

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