BENGALURU: For renowned Sarod player and Hindustani classical music exponent RajeevTaranath, being a musician was a decision he took up by choice. “Every day, I wake up at 5.30 am and practise music. It’s like my regular diet,” says Taranath, who will be performing at Whitefield Music Festival this weekend in the city. Born in Bengaluru, Taranath started with vocal classical music under the tutelage of his father Pandit Taranath. “One day, I heard about a sarod concert happening at Town Hall by Maestro Ali Akbar Khan.
The experience changed my life. Otherwise, I would have done something else. I hold an MA and PhD in English Literature. But I decided to learn under him. Learning from him and getting scolded was a glorious experience. You feel young when your guru guides you,” Taranath added. The 87-year-old musician is the recipient of various awards, including the 2019 Padma Shri award and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2000, though he considers the blessings from his guru to be more precious than these.
Recalling his memories in the city, the musician, who now stays in Mysuru, says, “Our family lived in Basavanagudi. I remember vendors selling ice boxes, book stores like Higginbothams, Bible Society and my golden days at St Joseph’s College and Central College,” said Taranath, adding that he doesn’t want to come back to Bengaluru. “Mysuru is peaceful and Bengaluru has changed drastically. It is full of incidents of road rage. I had a house near Whitefield. We sold it due to the horrible traffic jams and noises. I love driving but it is annoying to drive here now, amid traffic.”
At the music festival, Taranath is going to perform Sarod classical Hindustani music along with Pandit Nayan Ghosh on the Tabla. “Ghosh is one of the best musicians. It gives me immense pleasure to perform together after a long time.,” he said. The 2019 edition of the two-day Whitefield Music Festival, will be held on Nov 16 and 17 at Inner Circle Ground, Whitefield.