Bhubaneswar: Mellifluous music flows on the green lawns of KIIT School of Biotechnology, captivating stressed-out minds of the institution. A few minutes later, students swarm the lawn as Arijit Bhattacharya plays magic with sitar chords.
The lockdown may have put live concerts and big functions on hold but an artist must continue his riyaz (practice). Juggling between exams, studies and his online music classes, Arijit does miss his practice sessions.
The passionate sitar-player made his college proud by winning the first place in the instrumental category in the ‘Sound of Music’ online contest organised by Delhi-based Talent Tattoo Private Ltd.
A student of well-known sitar player Purbayan Chatterjee, who took him under his tutelage about a year back, Arijit’s win on the national platform speaks volumes about his dedication.
“I went to Mumbai in March 2019 to learn from him but after that, I had to make do with online classes because of studies. After the pandemic eases, I will go to Mumbai again to take lessons from him”, he said.
“Guruji has been adjusting and very kind to devote time for online classes despite his busy schedule. At times, I have to reschedule sitar classes as per my exam and class timings, but he never says no. That’s his dedication for a student,” he added.
Nurturing Indian classical music with seven strings, Arijit belongs to the Senia Maihar Gharana.
When did the musical journey begin?
“It was probably in my genes,” he chuckles. “When I was a kid, my aunt would always notice me playing musically with any object that I held and she would say my finger movement had some resemblance with the way my grandfather, who also used to play sitar. My family decided to enroll me in sitar classes when I was in Class V. In Class IX, I somehow lost connect with the instrument due to the stress of studies.”
“After joining KIIT, my batch mates found out about my interest in music and pushed me to pick up the instrument again. I started practicing and then performed at a function in the student activity centre. The first performance was during the INSCAR International Conference in 2018 at the KIIT campus.”
Arijit also performed at Nikhil Bharat Ganga Sahitya Samellan, Tamluk Branch, West Bengal in January and was part of the Global Youth Achievers Award, by MVLA Trust, Mumbai in September.
At present, he is an assistant coordinator of SPICMACAY KIIT-Chapter and student coordinator at NSS-KBT. An ardent fan of Anoushka Shankar, he said, “I will strive to hold the flag of sitar and Indian classical music on international platforms if I get a chance and will always be indebted to KIIT for my new found passion for sitar.