He was born without the right to dream
By Akshatha Shetty - BANGALORE
22nd November 2012 10:18 AM
On the bustling roads of Commercial Street, a young man is seen polishing his dholak, the double ended drum, with utmost care.
Amidst all the chaos and confusion in the streets, as 26-year-old Mohammed Tausif strives to produce sharp staccato notes and flawless rhythm with the folk drum, he manages to grasp the attention of a few onlookers.
“It is interesting to see how many people stop to listen.
Most of the time, my dholak sounds are ignored.
I come from a family of musicians.
The art of playing dholak has been passed down from one generation to the other,” said Tausif, who makes and sells a variety of dholaks on the streets of Bangalore.
As the dholak-seller tried to make a sale with an elderly couple, he also shed some light on the problems faced by those who made musical instruments for a living.
With no support from authorities or agencies alike, Tausif fears that traditional instrument makers are a vanishing breed today.
“Not many people wish to pursue this art any f u r t h e r .
Most of my family members have given up the profession as it did not generate enough money.
In fact, I wouldn’t want my son to take this profession up and struggle like me,” rued Tausif.
From simple beats to more complicated rhythms, the dholak-seller has mastered it all.
A quick demonstration revealed that this dholak-seller has left no stone unturned to fine-tune his skills.
On being asked about some of his most memorable moments, his face lights up.
He says, “When I was in Chennai, I had set up a small stall in Pandian Street.
After a hard day’s work, I decided to take a break and practise with my dholak.
A large crowd had gathered at a store nearby, however, I paid no attention to them and continued playing.
When I looked up, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Standing in front of me was A R Rahman.
I introduced myself and also told him that I was a big fan.
The maestro then smiled and told me that I play well.
I will never forget that day.
” On enquiring if he would like to become a professional musician in the near future, he said that he wouldn’t mind giving it a shot.
However, considering the circumstances, he doubts that he would ever be able to pursue his dreams.
“People like us were born without the right to dream.
My family never encouraged any of us to take our talent to the next level.
Maybe, someday, in a weird twist of fate, if at all I am able to do so, I will die a happy man,” said Tausif as he made his way to a parallel street yelling ‘Dholak le lo, Oh Bhaiya’.
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