I soaked Ustad Zakir Hussain’s words inwards to further my growth: Shashika
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I soaked Ustad Zakir Hussain’s words inwards to further my growth: Shashika

Renowned Tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain has been conferred with Padma Vibhushan

I soaked Ustad Zakir Hussain’s words inwards to further my growth: Shashika

New Delhi: The country’s highest civilian honours Padma Awards have been announced. For his valuable contributions to art and music, renowned Tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain has been conferred with Padma Vibhushan.

In an exclusive interview with this journalist (Shri Ram Shaw), Shashika Mooruth, a globally renowned singer, shared her fond memories of meeting the maestro. She has recently returned to Mumbai from South Africa.

Shashika said, “I met Zakir Hussain on 27th January, 2012. I just realised today it is 11 years! As a foreigner in India and more so a ‘thirsty for music’ enthusiastic seeker and learner in music, I have this habit of making it a point to meet great artistes and absorb any aspect from them towards my music growth which I also consider to be my spiritual path.”

“Meeting Ustad Zakir Hussain a few years ago was one such meeting that I still cherish. Firstly, my heartfelt congratulations to Ustad Zakir Hussain on being a recipient this year for the Padma Vibhushan Awards from the Indian Government,” she added.

“I met Ustadji after a concert in Mumbai and off course while he captivated his audience once again with his hands on the Tabla, it was his words to me that I soaked inwards to further my growth,” Shashika said.

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The versatile singer further said, “I am always regretful that I could only start learning music very late in life and as I introduced myself and before I could actually describe my situation and ask some questions, it seems that he read my mind. I could immediately understand that a true artiste has the deep connection with the Infinite and hence he could perceive my thoughts.”

“He was very soft and subtle in his reply. “It is important to be in that music environment and while I grew up in it, it is never too late to soak in all that you can. Just enjoy the learning process.” I could understand that I need to be in the present and enjoy the learning rather than stay regretful,” she said.

“Later I read in an interview where he answered that the excitement is learning. He said that every time he played with a musician, especially one that he never played with before, he learnt something new. That allowed him to expand his repertoire and also take him into territories he had never been before,” Shashika said.

For the year 2023, the President has approved conferment of 106 Padma Awards including 3 duo cases (in a duo case, the Award is counted as one) as per list below. The list comprises 6 Padma Vibhushan, 9 Padma Bhushan and 91 Padma Shri Awards. 19 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 2 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI and 7 Posthumous awardees.

Padma Awards – one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. ‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year. These Awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March/ April every year.