'Music is my wealth'
Ten years back, his sons Amaan and Ayaan brought out a book on him. And recently, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan released a book on his father Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan. The sarod maestro spoke to CS about music and more:
Shadow of love
Nowadays you hear people saying that one should not be under the shadow of their guru or father. For creative people, this is not a shadow. In fact, it is a shadow of blessings and love. It’s not like that with business familes where it’s all about worshipping wealth. That world is different. We’re different because music is our wealth. Whatever I am today is because of music.
My relationship with my sons is that of friends. While teaching and learning, we become guru and shishya. Otherwise we go to movies together and can discuss all kinds of topics. Earlier, I was alone in my life till the time I married Subalakshmiji. She became a very important figure in my life, helping me with my coordination, even designing my kurtas. Time is very powerful. We’re grateful to God for our grandchildren. They are a great attraction for us. They are just over three months old and we sometimes think that even Amaan and Ayaan were this small once.
Free to choose
Even when Amaan and Ayaan were growing up, we didn’t impose anything on them. But since my wealth is music, I shared it with them. They could have have become actors or models or anything else. It was their decision. I told Ayaan and his wife Neema now that it is upto them to decide what they want Zohaan and Abeer to be. I only hope that they get a good education and have a good set of friends. The biggest parampara is to be a good human being, one who’s cultured and patient. One has to be very patient and tolerant to achieve your goal in life.
Creating an identity
In our Indian music, everyone has their own individuality. Even Amaan and Ayaan have their own sound. Of course, there are families whose music sounds identical. That is not a great compliment. The greatest blessing for any musician is if they have a different identity, a different style than his own guru. The disciple doesn’t have to work hard to create his own identity. It just happens. It is the duty of every student to sound like his guru. But with the blessings of the guru, without the realisation, he should attain a different level of music.