By Sugandha Rawal
New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) Last year, when he turned 89, legendary classical vocalist and Padma Vibhushan recipient Pandit Jasraj had opened in an IANS interview about his life, learning and legacy among other things. We bring you excerpts from the conversation.
“Eighty-nine years of harmonious voyage, every day I have progressed, every day I cultured myself and I am still learning. As I continually say, I have been enormously blessed to be gifted to sing and apprehend the real kernel of music,” said Pandit Jasraj.
“Going ahead I want to learn more and understand more of music, as of now I have done nothing because I know nothing,” the legendary vocalist had said when asked about his next desire.
About his journey, the celebrated classical singer said: “No qualms or no hard feelings, it has been a journey that I will never (have a) pang of guilt (about). It has been a great journey (and) things have been wonderful. That’s why we are talking today.”
The renowned singer, who has a planet named after him — Panditjasraj — placed between Mars and Jupiter, had also shared that the lessons he obtained from his father were forever etched in his mind.
“Everything that I learnt from my father, my brother, and everyone around me have always remained with me and will always be with me,” said the recipient of the civilian honours Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
Asked how he wants his legacy to be taken forward, he said: “I am no one to decide that. It (is) up to the next generation, one should always (know) what they feel like doing with their heart and mind.”
Born in 1930 in Haryana, the celebrated classical singer presented the Mewati Gharana to the global music connoisseur. With a career spanning 80 years, Pandit Jasraj’s oeuvre ranged from the world stage to Indian film music.
His rendition of “Raga Ahir Bhairav” was used in Ang Lee’s global hit of 2012, “Life Of Pi”, and he also sang “Vandana karo” in the 1966 film “Ladki Sahyadri Ki”. Pandit Jasraj’s other soundtrack contributions are his Jugalbandi with Bhimsen Joshi in the 1973 film, “Birbal My Brother”, and “Vaada tumse hai” in the 2008 horror film, “1920”.
Despite his accomplishments, Pandit Jasraj was always eager to learn, which reflected in each of his answers.
At one point, he said he was still learning, when asked about the changes he wanted to see in the music industry: “I am still learning so I can’t suggest any change. I always say that change is the only constant, and the change that the music industry has brought is making people more aware of the different genre of music.”
As a parting message to the young stars, he said: “The new generations is extremely talented and are doing very well for themselves, they are aware of a lot of things that even I don’t know of. Just a little thing that without the blessing of almighty nothing is possible it’s he who decides and he who takes the call.”
That’s the message we would like to hold on to.