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Location: Muscat, Oman/ Bangalore, India

Round Peg....in a square hole. That describes me! All my life I have never quite fit in ... now I have just given up trying to live up to the expectations of the square hole or trying to find a round one!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Shafaat Ahmed

Just a few lines in the papers announced the passing away of the tabla maestro Shafaat Ahmed. The few lines did not do justice to the talent of Shafaat Ahmed.

The tabla came alive in his hands and he reveled in the music he created so much so that the joy spread and very often the entire audience had a big grin on their faces.

Shafaat Ahmed was too nice and well mannered to hog the limelight the way some tabla players do. He was never raucous, never cut into the music of the artistes he played with and never played a game of one up-manship that often ruins a concert.

One of the first times I heard Shafaat Ahmed was when he played in Bangalore with a young pianist called Adnan Sami Khan. Those days Adnan Sami Khan was a Pakistani and a classical musician. I still remember the Yaman, Adnan Sami Khan played in a sort of Jazz style and the impromptu but brilliant tabla support that Shafaat Ahmed gave.

That was a music concert at its best - the musicians played for the sake of music, both enjoying the music they made and the that enjoyment was so infectious it remains with me to this day.

That’s the Shafaat Ahmed I remember. Always smiling, willing to experiment, playing with a sense of fun and as always playing marvelously.

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