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Heart To Heart With Usted Nishat Khan

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Monday June 05, 2017

From The Asian Age

Heart to heart with Usted Nishat Khan
By: Shailaja Khanna

Ustad Nishat Khan, a seventh generation musician belonging to the premier sitar gharana called Imdadkhani (after his great grandfather Ustad Imdad Khan) or Etawah (Etawah was his ancestors’ home) is informal, voluble and charming. A thorough cosmopolitan (having spent a large portion of his life abroad), Nishat is very much rooted in India. Apart from being among the three finest sitar players in the world today, Nishat is also a multi-dimensional person, with varied tastes.

Nishat bhai, tell us about your early life.
I was raised in Calcutta, I practised like a demon, saw many movies, imbibed a lot of music, had a lot of fun with my friends! That sums it up pretty much! Oh yeah, and ate lots of good food! But what I also cherish are memories of my grandmother, Begum Inayat Khan Sahib. She was an incredibly strong lady with vast musical knowledge, a very strict disciplinarian but also very loving. She not only taught me a lot about music (I was the eldest, so she concentrated on me), she had a big part to play in my riyaaz (practice schedule), and even at 3 am would hear me and instruct me if I dithered. I have so many memories, I could write a book about her!

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