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A wonderful interface

Wednesday, August 29, 2018
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar

Pandit Arvind Parikh is literally speaking, the last of the Romans. At 91, he is as alert and lucid as a 40-year-old and a bright young intellectual. But he not just an intellectual. He is also an artiste who has loved his medium of expression and communication with passion. The sitar maestro who is a proud pupil of the great Vilayat Khansaheb, is not only an eloquent interpreter of the Ustad's music but also a sensitive analyst of music in general. All his sterling qualities came across brilliantly in his 90-minute-long conversation with santoorist Snehal Muzoomdar at the newly renovated Gita Mandir Hall of Bhratiya Vidya Bhavan, Chowpatty on Saturday evening. The program, aptly entitled 'Guftgu', held an overfull hall in rapt attention.

As spelled out by Parikh, discipline, humility and patience are the three attributes which guided him in his business as well as in his pursuit of music. His steadfast adherence to these principles has yielded astounding results. He spoke fondly about his early days in Ahmedabad, where he trained under different musicians. In 1944, he turned a 'Bombaite', learned his ropes as a businessman and also honed his skills as a sitar player under the able guidance of Vilayat Khan. He explained how good music is an amalgam of the conscious and the subconscious. “It is the conscious mind that creates and the subconscious one that executes,” he exclaimed. The process of learning music and its successful culmination into good musicianship was revealed through the enlightening conversation with Muzoomdar who was as witty as ever.

The program began with a sitar recital by Rafat Khan, senior pupil of Parikh. He played 'alaps', 'jod' and 'gats' in 'Yaman'. His music was not only sweet to the ears but was also steeped in tradition. Bhushan Parchure on the tabla offered excellent support.

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