Fights, action, music, romance, secret trysts-renowned classical musician Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia’s life reads almost like a film script. Wrestler in the morning, student during the daytime and flute player in secret, he lived more than a double life through his early years, till he broke away from his wrestler father’s watchful eye to join All India Radio as a flautist.
His marriage, relocation to Bombay and his foray into films were events rich in drama. As were his meetings with other musical greats, including Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, his dearest friend and music partner, with whom he composed the music for films like Silsila, Lamhe and Chandni. His reminiscences about his journey as a student of the reclusive Annapurna Devi, daughter of the famed Allauddin Khan of Maihar, give deep insights into his nature as well as that of his guruma.
Hariprasad Chaurasia has also been a guru to innumerable students in his Mumbai and Bhubaneswar gurukuls, and at the World Music Department, Rotterdam Music Conservatory, the Netherlands, where he is artistic director. His mesmerizing flute can be heard in some of Hindi cinema’s most popular songs, in a composition by the former Beatle George Harrison, as well as in recordings with renowned musicians from across the world.
A plethora of awards, including the Padma Vibhushan, sits lightly on the man, who has taken the humble flute to international renown as an instrument that can hold its own. Hariprasad Chaurasia and his Breath of Gold will inspire and amaze everyone who reads the life story of this much-loved flautist.