18 April, 2021

24 Hours In Life Of Tanmoy Bose: Staying Relevant In Art Of Mix-And-Match

One of India's leading tabla players, Uttam Kumar fan Pandit Tanmoy Bose is inspired by fusion artists like Sivamani and loves the Western music of the Beatles and Bob Marley

Photograph by Sandipan Chatterjee
24 Hours In Life Of Tanmoy Bose: Staying Relevant In Art Of Mix-And-Match

“Look,” says tabla virtuoso Pandit Tanmoy Bose, slowly moving his index finger along the rim of a half-filled glass of water, “listen to what happens”. I prick up my ears, and a piercing, whistling sound rings out. I’m flabbergasted—it seems almost magical, and when I try my fingers at it, I fail miserably. Pandit Bose bursts out laughing. “You need to practise a bit!” he says, adding, “Do it at the right frequency, and that glass will shatter.”

The exchange sums up the experience of spending time with Bose, one of India’s foremost percussionists. Warm and brimming with knowledge, the maestro guides me through the routine of a day in his life as through the story of his life.

Bose’s home is near the noisy Gariahat area of Calcutta. One cuts through the noise Puja shoppers, past expansive haw­kers, and enters, through wrought-iron gates, a quiet, bluish-grey building complex. It was built on the same patch of land where the garden of Bose’s old family home, and seems to radiate the air...

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