Category Archives: South

Towards Perfection

Told by Samir Chatterjee
Obtained by Sanjoy Bandopadhyay
Date 29 December 2014
Place At Kolkata residence of Samir Chatterjee, 15A Gobinda Mondal Lane, Cossipur, Kolkata
About Samir Chatterjee Eminent tabla player, thinker. To know in detail click here
Tags Shyamal Das, Chetla, tabla-maker, shreekhol, dedication, tabla-sound, 2001, making
Language English

Samir Chatterjee speaks:


Data processed at SAP-DRS Lab, Department of Instrumental Music, Rabindra Bharati University.


Frozen Bayan at Dover Lane

Told by Parimal Chakraborty
Obtained by Sanjoy Bandopadhyay
Date 02 December 2014
Place Sangeet Bhavan, B.T. Road Campus, Rabindra Bharati University, 56A, B.T. Road, Kolkata 700050
On Parimal Chakraborty A well-known Tabla player, Guest Teacher at the Department of Instrumental Music, Rabindra Bharati University
Key-words 1989, Dover Lane Music Conference, Samta Prasad, 40 minutes, Vivekananda Park, Politics, Banaras, tabla, silent-baya, Raghunath Bhattacharya, dayan, bayan,

Parimal Chakraborty speaks:

Paraphrased in English

Frozen Bayan at Dover Lane

Told by: Parimal Chakraborty

Dover Lane Music Conference has always been the centre of many stories. In 1989 Dover Lane Music Conference used to be organised at Vivekananda Park. Samta Prasad from Banaras came to perform Tabla. He was assigned there for only 40 minutes to perform. He minded that Kolkata became only the place for politics and not for music.

A funny moment happened next day. It was a wonderful evening. A Kathak concert was going on by Balaka Ghosh. Raghunath Bhattacharya in Tabla was accompanying her. Total ambience was filled with the impact of the Jugalbandi. The audiences were also got totally submerged. In Tabla, Raghunathji was giving his ultimate presentation, full of embellishments in both Daya and Baya.

The performance was at its heights. Suddenly the sound of Baya stopped and the audience could only receive the bols ‘tete dhin na, tete dhin na’ of Daya that was echoing throughout the auditorium. Everyone in the hall was very astound and whispering about the matter. At that very moment Samta Prasadji, the Tabla maestro was entering the hall. He also heard the same.  In a great amazement he came nearer to the stage and asked Raghunathji about the Baya.  Raghunathji tensely answered that the Baya had been ruptured. Samta Prasadji very patiently suggested him to play in reverse mode. But Raghunathji was so nervous at that moment that could not understand the inner meaning of his suggestion ‘ulat ke bajaao’ and literally started playing the Baya by turning it over.

That was the most hilarious moment that anyone can love to recollect.

Author-Date [Reference]

Admin-II. 2014. “Frozen Bayan at Dover Lane.” Music Mapping of Kolkata. December 22.


Dover Lane music Conference:

Dover Lane Music Conference is an annual Music festival. The conference is organised at Nazrul Manch, Southern Avenue, South Kolkata, on 22nd to 25th January each year. The festival started in 1952. Previously it used to organise at Dover lane under the patronage of Sri Late Narendra Singh Singhi, at his residence, Singhi Park.

About the speaker:

Parimal Chakrabarty is a renowned Tabla player of Kolkata and India. He started taking lessons in Tabla from his father Sri Nikhil Chandra Chakrabarty from the early age. Apart from this, he has also got talim from Ram Dhrubey, Sangeetacharya Guru Jnan Prakash Ghosh and also from another stalwart Pandit Sankar Ghosh. He is a Top Grade artist of All India Radio. He has accompanied with many eminent musicians of all over India.

Paraphrasing and notes by Dr. Suranjita Paul, Research fellow

Data processed at SAP-DRS Lab, Department of Instrumental Music, Rabindra Bharati University.

Against Time Wasting

Told by Angshubha Bandyopadhyay
Obtained by Sanjoy Bandopadhyay
Date 03 December 2014
Place Sangeet Bhavan, B.T. Road Campus, Rabindra Bharati University, 56A, B.T. Road, Kolkata 700050
On Angshubha Bandyopadhyay Tabla player, Guest Teacher at the Department of Instrumental Music, Rabindra Bharati University
Key-words Jnan Prakash Ghosh, 1990’s, namaskar, pranam, Ironside Road, time management

Angshubha Bandyopadhyay speaks:

Paraphrased in English

Against Time Wasting

Told by:   Angshubha Bandyopadhyay

It is a story about the strict discipline of Guru Jnan Prakash Ghosh. Throughout his entire life he strictly followed the values of Time. He firmly believed that time is like precious jewels, once gone, it never comes back. He never wanted to waste time even when it directly connects him. Probably it was  1990s. On Wednesdays all of his disciples used to gather in his Iron Side Road residence for Taalim. It is usual custom to touch Guru’s feet. So, they used to touch their guru’s Guru when they entered the classes. It is a very common practice in Indian tradition of Music. But Guru Jnan Prakash Ghosh was against that this kind of rituals. The reason was, for him a pranaam took precious two minutes which cut short his lesson-time and he could not tolerate this. He tried to forbid them from doing so, but the students did not take much notice of that.

One fine Wednesday morning, it was around 9 am to 9-15 a.m. Guruji came to his practice room with his unique chappals on his feet. All of his disciples stood up in respect and began to touch his feet. He immediately got furious and told them that he would not take their classes as they were not listening to him seriously. The class got postponed for the day. The students could now feel the significance of the situation. Helplessly they requested Mallar, Guruji’s son, to settle down the issue. Things were settle down gradually, and from that day his disciples became very cautious about wasting time for pranaam.

This is a memorable story of a Guru which a student would always love to remember.


Paraphrasing by Dr. Suranjita Paul, Research fellow

Data processed at SAP-DRS Lab, Department of Instrumental Music, Rabindra Bharati University.


Straight from Australia: Starting to Learn with Pt. Radhika Mohan Maitra

Told by Jon Barlow
Obtained by Sanjoy Bandopadhyay
Date 14 December 2014
Place At Kolkata residence of Jon Barlow 91/1B Bondel Road, Kolkata 700019 [Ballygunge Phari]
About Jon Barlow A man in pursuit of Indian Classical Music for more than fifty years. Learnt sarod, vocal music, music collector, music craftsman, photographer, artist, music theorist.
Tags Calcutta, Radhika Mohan Maitra, Jon Barlow, sarod, Nikhil Banerjee, learning, 1962, 1963, Australia, Ali Akbar Khan
Language English

It’s just a personal anecdote about chance and I suppose fate. It is the recollection of my first encounter with Radhika Mohan Maitra, when I first visited Calcutta in 1971 to buy a musical instrument. I had been to Maihar in 1968-69 for a few months but found Allaudin Khan very old and frail. I was with my fellow Australian friend Alan Posselt who actually had some lessons with the old man but mostly we learned from Mr David, a Sri Lankan who was charged with the unenviable job of keeping the Allaudin Khan School there up and running and the Maihar Band in practice. It would be fair to call the learning process a bit desultory but we had a great time with visiting with Khansaheb and watching the Maharaja with a pop-gun chasing langurs off the tin sheets that he had covered decaying branches of his palace with. Shortly after this time I was living in  London where I made a quite respectable sarod from an  Elm wood log that a friend of my father had given me, it was half invented half reconstructed from a few instruments I had seen and though eccentric it was a fair stab in the dark. Studying sarod was important to me but I had no clear idea or instinct about what to do next. All I knew was that I wanted to get a good instrument as the one that I had bought in Delhi was miserable and the first instrument I had made was bizarre.  Everyone said you have to go to Calcutta and ask Hemen to make a good instrument, so finally I resolved to do just that. In Australia before leaving I got to know a chap by the name of John Bucklow who had befriended  Radhubabu when the latter went to

Radhika Mohan Moitra
Radhika Mohan Moitra

Australia as the leader of an Indian cultural mission sent by the Government of India in, I think, 1962 or 63.   Radhubabu had made  quite an impression among jazz aficionados. This just a year or two before Ravishankar and Ali Akbar explored the southern route. Anyway, John Bucklow had given me a bottle of Scotch whisky to present to Radhubabu. I did not know where to stay and went to Grand Hotel. I stayed there for one day. It was of course very expensive for me but I wanted to deliver the gift so first thing the next day, without checking out, I went to Radhubabu at his house in Kali Bari Lane at Jadavpur, to give him his bottle of whisky. He was delighted and asked ‘where do you stay’ and ‘what are you doing’, and told that I was looking for a sarod. ‘Oh, yes.’ and probably told me the names of some karekars. I knew that he was a sarod player but it did not register as an opportunity because I was so obsessed with Ali Akbar Khan that, strange as it may sound, I did not think asking for his advice. He said ‘Mr. Barlow if you want to spend a week or two in Calcutta finding what you need , I have a spare flat and you are very welcome to stay there.’. It was opposite his house on the ground floor and was a nice simple roomy apartment. So he gave me a place to stay and he treated me fantastically well but never suggested that I should learn with him. Radhubabu was a superb cook and was very kind and courteous. He treated me to wonderful food and taught me to eat  Ilish [Hilsa] without choking on the bones. I had previously met Nikhil Banerjee in Sydney at the house of Nadine Amadeo who was a great enthusiast for Indian Music and belonged to one of Australia’s prominent musical families. So having settled momentarily in Radhubabu’s flat I went to meet Nikhilda who lived not far away in Jodhpur Park, which in those days was very open with just a few apartment buildings and houses standing in the fields.  I told him that I wanted to learn the sarode but didn’t know what to do and that Maihar was certainly  not the best place any longer. He asked me where I was staying. I said that I was staying with Radhika Mohan Maitra and explained how it had happened. He started laughing and said that ‘you are laying on the lap of sarod!’ and  so with Nikhil Banerjee’s hearty recommendation I requested Radhubabu to teach me started learning with him.



Weeping Audience

Told by Biswajit Bhattacharjee
Obtained by Sanjoy Bandopadhyay
Date 11 December 2014
Place Sangeet Bhavan, B.T. Road Campus, Rabindra Bharati University, 56A, B.T. Road, Kolkata 700050
On Biswajit Bhattacharjee Faculty member of the Department of Instrumental Music, Rabindra Bharati University, Tabla player of Lucknow gharana.
Key-words 1970s, Tapan Theatre, South Kolkata, Music Conference, Tarapada Chakraborty, Manas Chakraborty, Anil Bhattacharjee, Lucknow Gharana, effect of music, Shiva, Stotra, tears, vocal

???? ???? ???? ???. ??? ??????? ??? ???. ?????? ??????? ???????? ??????? ??? ??????? ??. ????? ???? ?????? ????????? ??????. ??????????? ????? ??? ??? ??????. ??? ??? ??? ??? ?? ????? ??????-??????, ???????????? ?????? ????????? ??? ?????????. ??? ?????? ???? [???? ?????????], ?????? ?????? ???, ??????? ???? ? ????? ???????? ???? ?????. ???? ???? ?????? ???? ??????????? ????? ?????. ????? ????? ???????? ?????. ?? ???… ????… ????? ??? ????????????? ??… ???? ??? ??? ???? ????. ???? ????????????? ?? ??? ????????. ?? ?? ??? ?????? ??????? ?????, ???? ????? ?????? ? ??? ???? ??? ??? ???? ????? ??????, ????? ??????? ???? ???, ???? ?????? ???? ???? ??? ??????; ??????.. ??? ????? ?? ????? ???, ????????? ?????? ????? ????????? ?????? ?????? ???? ??? ?????? ??? ????… ?? ??????-?????? ???? ??????? ?? ??-??? ???? ????? ?? ??? ??????, ????? ???? ???????? ?? ?????? ?????? ??????? ????. ???? ?????? ??????, ???? ??? ?????, ???? ??? ?????? ???? ????. ??? ???? ???? ??? ????????? ???? ???????. ????? ?? ?-?? ???????? ????? ????? ???????; ??? ?????? ????? ???? ?????? ???? ?????????, ?? ??????? ???? ? ?????? ????? ????? ???? ???????. ?????? ?????? ???? ??, ????? ??? ??? ??? ????? ????? ?????!? ??? ????? ??? ?’?! ??? ??? ???? ?? ????? ????? ???? ?????? ??? ?????, ??????? ????? ???? ????? ??? ?????. ? ???? ??????? ????. ??? ?? ??? ??? ????, ??? ?? ?????? ??? ?????! ? ???? ??????? ?? ?? ????????? ??? ??????? ???? ?? ?????? ????? ?????????.

Paraphrased in English

Weeping Audience

Told by: Biswajit Bhattacharya

Around 1970, a musically remarkable incident happened in southern part of Kolkata. A musical concert was arranged in Tapan Theatre. It was in Bhawanipur area near Sadananda Road, Kalighat. It was a wonderful evening, and that evening gave the listeners a memorable music listening experience; the reminiscences of the melody are still echoing in the air.   Sangeetacharya Tarapada Chakraborty along with his son Pandit Manas Chakraborty was rendering khyal. Pandit Manas Chakraborty was accompanying his father with tanpura and also providing vocal support. Pandit Anil Bhattacharya was on the Tabla in a very supportive mood. He was following Sangeetacharya very closely. Sangeetacharya Tarapada Chakraborty was completely engrossed in his music. After some time he started Shiva Stotra. He had such a unique and beautiful voice! As he continued with the beautiful melody, his son stopped his vocal rendering and kept aside his tanpura. Pt. Bhattacharya on tabla was spellbound. Sangeetacharya Tarapadaji was so absorbed in his creation that water started flowing through his eyes. There was deep silence all around. The audiences got memerised as they began to feel the ultimate connection with the cosmic energy. They were so captivated in the melody that they also could not restrain their emotions. Instead of the sound of clapping there were weeping and hiccups all over.

This is one of the mesmerizing incidents, which still a music lover love to cherish.


Sangeetacharya Tarapada Chakraborty: Born on 1st April 1909 in Kotalipara, Faridpur, Bangladesh. He died on 1st September 1995. He was felicitated Sangeet Natak Akademy Fellowship from Sangeet Natak Academy in 1972. He was also conferred State Academy award from Rabindra Bharati University in 1972.

Pandit Manas Chakraborty: Born on 9th September 1942 in Kolkata. He died on 12th Deccember 2012. He was the son and disciple of Sangeetacharya Tarapada Chakraborty. He was the torchbearer of Kotali Gharana.

Award list of Pt. Manas Chakraborty:

  • Heritage Samman by Heritage World Society, Tower Group (2012)
  • Sangeet Samman Award, Presented by The Dover Lane Music Conference (2011)
  • Dishari Award (Twice) – West Bengal Journalists’ Association
  • Maharishi Award (1987) – Maharishi World Centre of Gandharva Veda at U.K. Roydon Hall
  • Girija Shankar Memorial Award (1989) – Girija Shankar Smriti Parishad
  • Jadubhatta Award (1995) – Salt Lake Cultural Association, Kolkata
  • Outstanding Citizen Award (2000) – English Teaching Union.
  • Award for his excellence at 15th Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Sangeet Sammelan – Samrat Sangeet Academy (Goa).
  • Felicitated by Rotary International
  • Felicitated by Dover Lane Music Conference (1992) on his 50th birth-anniversary
  • Felicitated by Kotalipara Sammelani (2000)
  • Felicitated by Samatat for his contribution in the field of Indian Arts and Music
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from Mohanananda Brahmachari Sishu Seva Pratisthan

Pandit Anil Bhattacharya: Renowned Tabla player of Lucknow gharana of Tabla playing. He was the disciple of Wajid Hussain Khan and Chhottan Khalifa of Lucknow Gharana.

Kotali Gharana: Pandit Tarapada chakraborty was the prime architect of Kotali Gharna.


Paraphrasing and notes by Dr. Suranjita Paul, Research Fellow

Data processed at SAP-DRS Lab, Department of Instrumental Music, Rabindra Bharati University.