06 December, 2020

'Pop'...and this cultural alchemist creates rasiks out of lay audiences

Abhijit Bhatlekar
'Pop'...and this cultural alchemist creates rasiks out of lay audiences
To face failure, especially in the diamond business, is almost an impossible fate for Gujaratis. But when Parag Trivedi, a peaceable Gujarati Brahmin, went for broke (literally) in diamonds at the age of 29, he didn’t shake his fists at the heavens. He did the totally unexpected. He rejected Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, gave up on business, turned his back on clients in Singapore, Australia etc and returned to—albeit unusually—worshipping Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and the arts.

Inside his pooja ghar was a picture of Johann Sebastian Bach, the western classical composer whom he invoked along with Saraswati. And by 1992, his quest became his profession when he launched Sabrang, an organisation that "demystifies the classical arts". Or more simply, "a floating university that attempts to make up for the lapses in our education system. For, in 1947 when India achieved freedom...as birthright, it included seven classical dance forms and three forms of classical music. Had the i&b bureau or even the ministry of culture created an audience base for the arts,...



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