While we all play beats on our tables or desks or prefer twilling their fingers on thaalis and dabbas, but for 15-year-old prodigy Keshava the unconscious beats on the table led him straight to the Common Wealth Games where he performed in 2010. Keshava first performed when he was just seven years old and with his mature and rhythmic beats on tabla along with his beautiful smile, he has mesmerised thousands during his performance.
The little master will be performing in the city with Kaushiki Chakraborty and will pay tribute to tabla maestro Ustad Shafaat Ahmed Khan. “I started playing on table when my mother used to sing beats. She is the one who felt that I can be a good tabla player. For me, playing in the Commonwealth was a great experience though I did not understand much at the age of seven. My mother did not tell me that it’s a big platform, she kept the bar very low, so I wasn’t even nervous or excited,” smiles Keshava.
While at his age, teenagers have school and tuitions to attend and then have extra curriculum activities take part in, for Keshava it is all about tabla. “I am doing my schooling online so I don’t have to go to school and I can focus on my tabla practice well,” says the musician. Born in the family of musicians, Keshava is sure to take this legacy further. “I have a few friends of my age and we are planning to start our band and will perform as many places as we can.”
Many teenagers would dream of becoming doctor sand engineers but Keshava’s aim is simple. “I am happy what I am doing and I am sure I will achieve great things in life. I don’t find gap between my education and music passion,” he says with poise. When asked about his generation not inclined towards classical music, the little master has no comprehension. “I am so young to understand this and I really don’t know what steps we could take but will think about this now,” says the young musician.
Keshava is getting trained under veteran tabla players such as Ustad Zakir Hussain and Taufiq Quershi, and wants to learn consistency in the performance from them. “I have to learn a lot from them, everything they teach is important but I want to be consistent like them on my performances,” he says rolling his eyes.
Talent, virtuosity, and youthful dynamism blend in perfect harmony with this 15-year-old, who is without doubt well on his way to becoming one of the most prominent musicians of his generation.