Pandit Devabrata Chaudhuri, a well- known sitarist, turned 80 last week. He’s been performing for decades now and must have learnt everything he possibly could in all these years. Wrong. At 80, Chaudhuri still feels he’s not imbibed enough. The wisdom of his age has allowed him to evaluate his past, and he feels he knows very little. His patrons, however, keep a much different opinion of his skills, and will be gathering to watch him, and other artistes play at Umak festival, titled, Abhinandan 80, a two-day music and dance celebration. “After all these years, I’ve learnt that we swim in an ocean of music, and no one can fathom the depth of it. I have miles to go before I realise what music truly is. There was a time many years ago when I used to think I knew everything. But, now, at this stage and age of my life, I realise I know nothing,” says Chaudhuri, who once tried his hands at the Hawaiin guitar and piano, but gave it up because of his interest in the sitar.
The festival this year presents an orchestral presentation by the students of Umak Centre for Culture, a sitar recital by Pandit Debu Chaudhuri, accompanied by Ustad Akram Khan on tabla, sitar recital by Pandit Prateek Chaudhuri accompanied on tabla by Ustad Rafiuddin Sabri, Kathak recital by the Pandit Rajendra Gangani accompanied on tabla by Pandit Fateh Singh Gangani, and more.
While, on most of his other birthdays Chaudhuri doesn’t do anything extra special, on this one, he decided to give into the demands of his admirers who requested him to perform for everybody, as a return gift. He obliged immediately.
Date June 1 and 2
Time 6.45 pm onwards
Venue Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road