Sohon Ghosh is a remarkably talented musician from the city of Joy Kolkata, India. Born into a musical family, Sohon is a classical exponent of one of oldest rhythm instruments from India – Tabla ( the twin handheld drums). Sohon has been ably trained by great stalwarts that include his own father, Shri Nirmal Ghosh ji, and Pandit Gobindo Bose ji. Sohon has performed both in India and abroad, winning critical acclaim, awards as well as popularity among people, who have been mesmerized by his performances. Despite his phenomenal achievements at such a young age, Sohon remains humble to his roots
‘TABLA’ THE MAGICAL DUAL DRUM INSTRUMENT – CLASSICAL BACKGROUND
Well, it’s one of the most age old, Indian instrument which is majorly used in Indian Classical music as well as in all types of music genres. It has helped drive the popularity of Eastern music to cultures around the world over the past 300 years.
Tabla has six different gharanas (a South-Asian term used to describe any of the various specialist schools or methods of classical music or dance) – Delhi, Punjab, Benaras, Farukhabad, Lucknow and Ajrada. Each gharana has a unique playing technique. I personally belong to the Farukhabaad gharana.
My guru, Pandit Gobindo Bose ji also learnt from the great Ustad Feroz Khan Saheb of the Punjab gharana. That’s why I have got taalim (tutelage) of Punjab gharana as well from my Guruji.
EARLY LIFE AND INTEREST IN MUSIC
I was born in a musically enriched family. My father, Shri Nirmal Ghosh ji, is a student of Pt. Gobindo Bose ji and my mom used to learn from Late Vidushi Sipra Bose ji. Later on, my sister also started her taalim from Vidushi Sipra Bose ji. So, in a way I was always in a musical environment. Gradually my father introduced me to Tabla. The instrument just grew on me and I hardly know when my interest turned into a passion and I started enjoying and loving this magical instrument more and more. I owe special thanks to my first guru, my father, for this.
One of my most memorable performances was my Tabla solo performance at Shrutinandan (Institute of Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty ji). I was 20 years old then, it was a wonderful experience, yet very challenging to perform solo tabla recital infront of music stalwarts.
Another memorable performance was at The Bhavans, London, where I performed as a Tabla accompanist. I reveled myself playing in front of the learned international audience.
One more I would like to add, is getting an opportunity to play Tabla duet with my own dada guruji (guru of guru) Pandit Gobindo Bose ji. I was fortunate enough that guruji allowed me to sit and play with him. I tried my best to play well and do justice to what all I have learnt from him and my father.
There are many more but these 3, are on the top of my list as of now.
INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCE’S LOVE FOR TABLA
A very nice question indeed. It is very interesting that the international audience is really very fond of and are in love with this pair of Indian hand-held dual drums. They really enjoy it and I guess many people have already started learning Tabla and amongst them are even those who are superb performers themselves.
Personally, while playing in front of the international crowd, I have witnessed that they are very much aware and learned listeners. I have noticed few people counting the beats while I was playing at the London concert. They are so much interested and eager to know about the magic of Tabla. And regarding interest, I guess it’s the same as we Indians have towards Tabla. I have many friends from abroad cities and countries, with whom I share whatever I have learnt, and I am really amazed to see their eagerness and willpower to take up the lessons which I share with them. I feel Tabla is loved globally.
AWARDS AND ACCOLADES
Some of my achievements are as follows –
Award winner of the Doverlane Music Talent hunt contest.
Sangeet Piyasi scholarship holder.
Ranked first in the state level of All India Radio, Akashvani.
Ranked first all-over West Bengal state in Yuva Chhatra Utsav.
Performed at The ITC Young Maestros concert, Kolkata.
Performed at Swara Samrat Alaap Festival, Kolkata.
Performed at Sa Dha arts concert, at The Bhavans, London.
and many more…
ON DONNING THE MENTOR’S HAT
Music mentorship or Guru is huge term. I am just a student of Tabla and a worshipper of Indian Classical music. yeah, I do share whatever I have learnt till date, with my friends, juniors and sometimes few seniors are kind enough to think that I am eligible enough to clear their doubts.
As far as my experience is concerned, sharing of music or knowledge is a very interesting, full of responsibility and care.
I do try to take care of my music-learning friends and sometimes even I do learn from them in many aspects. So keeping the tradition, in mind, it’s a huge responsibility to guide and nurture them properly.
There is only one future plan is to learn more and more. I remember my guruji, and even my father say that, the Tabla subject is itself like an ocean. So my only plan is to keep learning new things, keep experimenting with music and keep perfor ming.
Regarding, promoting Indian Classical Music, I am no one to promote this Divine discipline. I can just serve it properly, and I shall try my best to do so.
AGE FOR LEARNING MUSIC
I remember, my first student, was 59 years old. She was a schoolteacher. I was so glad that she asked me, if she can start learning or not. It gave me so much of positive vibe. I still say to all my music-learning friends, that there is no limit or age bar in music.
It’s a spiritual thing, if you can connect your soul with it, then bravo, you are into it!
MESSAGE FOR MUSIC LOVING KIDS AND THEIR PARENTS
There is only one message for the young people, that do or perform the subject you love, be it music, games, robotics, anything. You must love, what you do and be the best student of it. Like Ustad Zakir Hussain ji, says “Be the best student of your Guru“
And regarding my message for respected parents – first of all sincere and humble regards to all of them. We all know that we are being loved by our parents. They are our living gods. Just a small humble request to them, is to let their talented kids, do what they love… be it Tabla, be it Table Tennis, be it Teaching. Being in the rat race is very normal and may be very important but doing what you love is the main food for our souls. From a financial point of view, if one reaches the top of any field, he or she can lead a very good life as well. Thank you.
Author: The feature was authored by Dr. Debashish Sengupta, Asia Editor at Future of Earth.