LUCKNOW: In a shocking incident, well-known Pakhawaj player and UP Sangeet Natak Akademi (UPSNA) awardee Dinesh Prasad, 67, collapsed on stage during his performance at the Sanatkada Festival in Lucknow on Monday evening.
He was rushed to the Lari Cardiology Centre and was later declared brought dead by the doctors.
Prasad was performing along with other musicians like Iliyas Husain Khan, Ilyas Khan, Shrikant Shukla, Zeeshan and Siddiqui.
Organiser of the festival, Madhavi Kuckreja, who was an eyewitness to the incident, said that Prasad, while into his performance, stopped playing pakhawaj for a few minutes, but resumed later. He felt some uneasiness and asked for a glass of water. But he collapsed within moments on the stage.
Born in Mathura in 1956, Prasad belonged to the Mathura gharana of pakhawaj vadaks and learnt the art from his father Babulalji.
He came to Lucknow in 1989 after bagging a job in UP Sangeet Natak Akademi's Kathak Kendra from where he retired in 2014. Prasad was also conferred with the prestigious UPSNA award in 2005 for his work as a pakhawaj player and for promoting its vadan.
A regular Doordarshan performer and radio artist, Prasad also performed at various festivals across the country, including Lucknow and Jhansi Mahotsav.
The sudden demise of Prasad on stage left the audience in a state of shock. Tabla player Ilyas Hussain Khan said that he was sitting right next to him during the programme. "Dinesh ji even told me 'karyakram mat roko, mai theek ho jaunga' (Don't stop the event. I'll be fine), but he suddenly collapsed. We gave him continuous CPR as he was rushed to Lari Cardiology Centre," said Khan.
Piyush, Prasad's son, said, "My father was a heart patient. He had suffered a heart attack earlier too, but his health was stable. The whole family is shocked. He went to the event all prepared for his performance and had also rehearsed a day before."