The flute or Bansuri- popularly synonymous with Krishna is a wonder of rhythm and melodies. The Bhagavad Gita tells us that Lord Krishna had the flute attached to his waist and his Gopika’s were extremely jealous of this companionship. Such was the relationship between Krishna and his flute and they were inseparable.
Sweet melodies of devotion and love prompted people nearby to drop everything and gather around Krishna to immerse themselves into his divine rhythms. Spotlight Studio’s Krishna Connection is all about ragas and a reminder to take a break from our busy lives and appreciate the spirit of music. These ragas range from the hills of Kashmir to the temples of South India thereby, revisiting diverse cultures of India.
In connection with the concert on Spotlight Studio for World Music Day, we at One Page Spotlight had the opportunity to speak with Pandit Pravin Godkhindi to understand his affinity towards music and the flute in particular, and how his father’s guidance shaped him till date. “My desire to become a musician started at a young age. I got busy recording and performing, while also winning National Awards when I was a teenager. Though my father recognised my flair for music and knew I was good at playing the flute, he was adamant that I pursued an academic career as well. He said no matter what, you have to pursue a degree in engineering and simultaneously practice music.”
He recalls days spent with his father practicing the flute and how he was disciplined to balance out both- engineering and music. “My home has welcomed celebrated artists like Pt. Bhimsen Joshi and Gangubai Hangal and I fondly remember days of constant practice and late night concerts. It was truly magical having dad and so many artists play together.”
Pandit Pravin Godkhindi’s son, nineteen-year old Shadaj Godkhindi is also an established flute player. Like his father and grandfather, he has found his passion in playing the flute as well. “ I believe history has repeated itself because I see so much of my father in myself. I played the role of a son and now I’m enjoying being a dad and watching my son grow and develop his own style of music. My father was very liberal with me and I’m the same with Shadaj as I see him listen to all kinds of music ranging from classical music to EDM.” He also implied the fact that he makes sure that his son remains extremely rooted to classical music along with exploring other genres of music.
We found this very impressive about the flute maestro as he proudly spoke about his son, Shadaj, who wants to enter the world of music and will pursue a Diploma in Music Production very soon. “We were raised in a very different age where financial sustainability was indispensable. Times are changing now and I’m very glad to support Shadaj to pursue what he really wants to do.”
He also shared his journey from living in Dharwad to moving to Bangalore in search of a job and how that was a stepping stone in his career. “ I moved to Bangalore in search of a job at MNCs and was looking forward to giving interviews. But simultaneously, I was getting opportunities to produce music with people from the industry. So every time I had an interview, that very day I had recordings as well. I was evidently inclined to taking up what I really wanted to pursue and I got fortunate by the years.” Since then there has been no looking back for him.
From hearing stories of his engineering days and job hunt in Bangalore to playing with a Dutch rock band in Holland, Pandit Pravin Godkhindi’s musical endeavour is nothing short of being incredible. When asked about an unforgettable moment in his life, he fondly remembers the time he shared the stage with Ustad Zakir Hussain. “I performed with my role model and that is one moment I will cherish for the rest of my life. Since I’ve always looked up to him, I’ve grown my hair just like him too.”
As we talked with Pandit Pravind Godkhindi and understood a generational voyage of immersive experience, now in its 3rd generation, we are reminded of the rich heritage and living tradition of indian music. The need of its curation and documentation for the future comes to us as the most important task we need to put our SPOTLIGHT on !
Pravin Godkhindi is on One Page Spotlight. Do follow him here to stay updated with his music and upcoming concerts.