This is the second part of A Journalist Reveals’ interaction with Naviin Gandharv – Belabaharr – A Unique Creative Concept.
Has Bollywood recognized this musical instrument for any of their songs?
A few pieces have been played in Bollywood songs and background music. But it was very situational, which failed to expose the potential of this instrument’s versatility.
With a few exceptions nowadays it’s a different scene of music where mass digitalized music is composed.
To get work in Bollywood one has to push and follow music directors for chances and that is not one of my principles at this point in time. Though I would accept proposals to play and also never miss to share my music via social platforms like YouTube, Facebook, etc.
How many belabaharr musicians are present the world over?
They are my father Pt. Babulal Gandharv, me, my Uncles Kailash Gandharv and our student, Bhargav Patel. Most of the time, I am active in promoting it with my best ability.
Can you play all sorts of songs on this musical instrument? Are there any restrictions on playing any kind of music?
It’s no doubt a very versatile instrument in which any kind of music or song can be played. It depends on the player’s practice, approach, upbringing and musical background. Like I belong to the Indian Classical background and it runs in my nerves so I prefer that kind of music to be played on it and if the player has a Western Music background, they will play it in a different style which will create different possibilities. Thus, there are no restrictions as long as the aesthetics are kept alive. Musicians have limitations because we are human and not the musical instruments.
What is your support system?
After God, my support system has always been my mother, who has always encouraged me to be a musician whether it was the tabla or the belabaharr. Other than her, it’s my brother Devanand Gandharv, my fans and well-wishers who have been instrumental in this life as a belabaharr artist. It’s very difficult to survive as a leading solo classical artist with such an instrument about which people haven’t heard. I perform music wherever I am invited with love and respect, whether it’s a concert or any private celebration event. That gets me and my family our livelihood. By God’s grace, I am invited by people, who can differentiate between music and noise.
What do you see 10 years hence?
At some point of time during my young age, I dreamed to be known as one of the top tabla players of the world. But destiny had to offer something very special to me, which one can only dream about. Our plans never work and God knows better to fit us at the best place. Certainly, I would want a student, who carries the belabaharr’s legacy forward and to guide young tabla players. I have made so many efforts to promote our traditional music by creating Anuraaj Classical Band by training a few youngsters and presenting them in my concerts. So, I also want to see Indian music as the most preferred one in India at least. I have always maintained the musical ethics and would always like to be known as a heart-touching musician more than a famous entertaining star.