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News |  16 Dec 2017 08:00 |  By RnMTeam

Today's artiste lack originality except for Sonu Nigam: Ronu Majumdar

MUMBAI: The flautist maestro who is best known in the Hindustani Classical space has given the industry around three decades. He has witnessed the industry evolve and on the basis of his observation, he shares some insights.

“Today’s artiste lack originality, it feels like everything is just a copy except for Sonu Nigam. He has the depth that makes his worthy of being a part of the Kishore Kumar club. He has proved this with the song Abhi Mujh Main Kahin from Agneepath. He is a great friend and like a brother to me,” said the maestro.

His dedication to music has taken him overseas and his fineness can be seen in his Bollywood and independent creations.  “Even today, I practice every day, just to create something very pure, sacred. There have been times when I have not taken shows because I have to practice for another show. Each time I perform it’s not to propagate how great an artiste I am. I perform to show people miracles that flute can create,” he said.

Hailing from Varanasi, Majumdar was six when he started playing the instrument. It was no choice but his destiny. Since then there has been no looking back for him.

His first Bollywood project has an interesting story behind. He won an AIR (All India Radio) competition in 1980 and was noticed by RD Burman. “In those days there were very less flautist in the industry after Hariprasad Ji. One day my godfather took me to his recording studio in Film City where he used to record his songs and he asked me to play flute in his song. RD Burman who was present in the studio saw me playing the flute and loved it. He made sure that I was in the studio each day during recordings even when a flautist was not required,” said the flautist who also happens to be a music composer and lyricist.

“There were times when I made space for myself in the song, in spite of the arranger not giving any and those have been the best flute sections. This is how I have grown, learning new things each day,” he added.

Here is an unforgettable memory that Majumdar has to share with us. “During the shoot of Coolie -- in which I have worked with RD Burman -- Amitabh Bachchan once came to the studio in the costume of the film. At that time I was playing for a climax scene in the film. He came up to me and asked if the pain within me was being portrayed through the bansuri (flute) to match the scene. I was just 22/23 year old and was so amazed that I fell short of words. I just told him that, ‘I have no pain; it’s just that when I play my bansuri, it sometimes is either happy or sad. I feel the moment and that is how I connect with the requirement,” said Majumdar.

After RD Burman’s death, Majumdar was under depression for 3-4 years and did not take up any music projects. It was Bharadwaj who came up to him with a film. He has worked on films like Maachis, Kaminey, Omkara and more for the director.

 “Vishal’s music is very effective. It has a lot of effects of nature, folk and also has knowledge of harmony. When I was doing the climax scene of Maachis which is entirely on bansuri, it was only possible due to Gulzar Saheb’s confidence in me. I denied taking up the scene alone but Gulzar Saheb motivated me,” he added.

In the last Sa Re Ga Ma Li’l Champs show, Majumdar was one of the juries and he also became famous for mentoring Anjali Gaikwad, the winner of this season. He has been amongst the jury earlier too, but the latest season was the one he would cherish for life.

Also Read: My advice to children is 'Never stop learning': Ronu Majumdar

Currently, Majumdar is performing various live shows and working on a few albums too. He now wants to focus on the music institute in America registered by him called Sandhna School of Indian Music. He has been running the Institute for 14 years and he wishes to explore it further.

A powerhouse performer, Ronu Majumdar is firmly rooted in the Maihar Gharana which has also given shape to sturdy musical oaks like Pt. Ravi Shankar and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Ronu Majumdar has developed a unique style of rendering the raga, which has a good mixture of Drupad Gayaki with Laykari.

The legend will give a unique experience of Indian classical music with no microphone, no amplification at Prithvi theatre on 17 December at 7:30 am.