Destiny decided for them… Before they were born, their father, Pt. Shambhu Dayal Kedia, an accomplished tabla player, attended Pt Ravi Shankar & Ustad Ali Akbar Khan’s concert in Dhanbad. There and then he decided to teach his two children to play the Sitar and the Sarod.
Looking back at their journey, the Kedia brothers of Senia-Maihar Gharana — Pt Mor Mukut Kedia and Pt Manoj Kedia insist that every moment has been about learning, and the same has not stopped even now. “That is perhaps one of the best parts of Indian classical music. One lifetime is just not enough. We are glad that we started learning music right from childhood and it eventually became an indispensable part of our beings,” says Pt. Mor Mukut.
Known for their depth and style in presenting the traditional Maihar Gharana, both brothers trained by their father & guru Pt. Shambhu Dayal Kedia, along with Pt Sunil Mukherjee and Pt Raja Ram Shukla stress that the multiple music training institutes coming up in the country just cannot replace the magic of the Guru-Shishya parampara. “Music education under our age-old tradition is wholesome in the true essence of the word. It goes beyond music and incorporates many other indispensable factors that are instrumental in making a fine musician,” says Mor Mukut Kedia.
Lamenting that very few classical musicians in the country can think of surviving solely on their art, Manoj Kedia feels that the government needs to play a more active role in promoting classical music. “We believe that whoever is willing to make music their career should be fully devoted towards it. And that is possible only if survival is not at stake. Also, let us not forget that Indian Classical music is not very popular among the general public. Now, hockey may be our national sport, but it is cricket that rules, right?”
Talking about the lockdowns, the brothers say that music and riyaaz played an instrumental role in keeping them stress-free. Admitting that digital concerts cannot replace the magic of physical ones, Mor Mukut asserts, “A musician sees and can easily feel the energy from the audience, something that ‘completes’ the concert. How can one derive that in a digital space?”
The brothers, who were recently part of ‘baithak’ organised by HCL Concerts say that unlike abroad very few corporates are actively involved in promoting art and culture. “We hope more companies like HCL will come forward and understand the importance of culture and heritage in the scheme of things.”
The duo, who give free music lessons to promote Indian classical music conclude, “We want to take forward the Sitar – Sarod Duet Parampara of Maihar Gharana as taken forward by Pt Ravi Shankar & our Guru Padma Vibhushan Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.”
(Sukant Deepak can be contacted at email@example.com)