At the turning point of Indian independence, 12-year-old Devabrata Chaudhary arrived at the residence of Utiya Mushtaq Ali Khan, a veteran of the Senia gharana in Delhi and asked to be his disciple. The sitar exponent was immediately offended and refused. Another student, Nikhil Banerjee, recently quit after learning from him for a few months and went to the Maestro household’s Ustad Alauddin Khan.
While talking to his wife, Ranker came out in a voice – ‘Look another Bengali Brahmin has come to Sakne (another Bengali Brahmin has come to learn).’
But Chaudhary was adamant. His hunger for music allowed Ut Mushtaq Ali to give the young boy of Bangladesh, not only the secrets of the swara and the sanctity of the thought process, but an infinitely spiritual experience, transforming the young boy into a master of the means to build him. Gave permission. Some very important, successful and senior musicians of the time in the world of sitar such as UT Vilayat Khan, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Banerjee and UT Haleem Jaffer Khan.
Sitar’s exponent Pt. Devvrat Chaudhary fiercely called Debu Chaudhuri on the stage of Jaipur and Atrauli gharana and on stage Died in the capital In the Saturday hour due to complications related to Kovid. He was admitted to GTB Hospital on Thursday after his son, sitar player Prateek Chaudhary, sent a social media post requesting a bed for his father.
Chaudhary was suffering from dementia and had a cardiac arrest amid issues related to Kovid. His son will be cremated on Monday, who is also battling Kovid, gets discharged from the same hospital.
According to his friend and Gwalior Gharana, LK Pandit, “What was interesting about Debu was that he did not come with a dynasty.” His lineage and heritage had nothing to do with music. A self-made artist will never forget the myths in his sitar ”.
Chaudhary, aged five, grew up in Ram Gopalpur, a small village in Mymanpur, now Bangladesh, when he faced sitar lessons at school and asked his father to learn the instrument. A mara and several scoldings later, “because Mausiki (music) was considered below academics”, a sitar was purchased after Chaudhary’s mother intervened.
He came to Kolkata to complete his higher studies from here, after which he went to learn from Ut Mushtaq Ali, who was not only a strict master, but was clear about the purity of the artifact. He ensured that the sitar was played with 17 frets and not 19–20. He was not comfortable with innovations brought by Shankar and others and denied the populist idea of making his music believable.
“That’s why he was called a composer of musicians,” says Chaudhuri. He also ensured that his favorite students stick to the tradition. And Chaudhary did. With reverence. He joined Delhi University as a reader in 1971 and was the dean and head of the music department, besides performing regularly. As a tribute to his mentor, he also founded the Ut Mushtaq Ali Khan Center for Performing Arts. He wrote several books on music that are still referenced by classical music students and is also credited with composing eight original ragas. Sitar maestro Shubhendra Rao says, “A brilliant musician, his humility was unlike anyone else’s.”
Chowdhury was awarded the Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to music.