Armed with his tabla, this 17-year-old young maestro is going places. Literally!

NET STRAP: Nishit Gangani, who hails from Delhi, is here in the City of Nizams for the Hyderabad Dance Festival and he is very excited. We take this opportunity to talk about his musical journey...
Nishit | (Pic: Nishit Gangani)
Nishit | (Pic: Nishit Gangani)

This is the first time Nishit Gangani is in Hyderabad. Though we all wish he was visiting during better days, considering the pandemic. Since the City of Nizams is hosting the ongoing Hyderabad Dance Festival, which started on April 3 and goes on till April 11, it is only right that the 17-year-old tabla player is visiting.

It was from the tender age of three that Nishit started learning how to play the twin hand drums. Hailing from a musical family of the Jaipur Gharana, this was only natural. Pandit Fateh Singh Gangani is Nishit's guru and bade papa (father's elder brother). "My guruji and my parents have been a constant support and motivate me even when I have to perform in front of much-acclaimed artists," says the Delhiite. And oh, what a long list of legends he has had the chance to perform in front of, like Kathak exponent Pandit Birju Maharaj that too on the occasion of his 80th birthday. "He conveyed his best wishes to me!" says a delighted Nishit. He has also performed in front of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. "All that goes through my mind when I play for exponents is that I shouldn't make any mistakes," he says with determination. He has also played at festivals like Dumdum Classical Music Festival and Lalit Arpan Festival.

He plays | (Pic: Nishit Gangani)

This pandemic hasn't given him any chances to perform, except virtually, hence, Nishit has dedicated himself to riyaz. But a little-known fact about Nishit is that he is a fitness freak and a regular gym-goer. Plus, he also makes sure that what he wears is as striking as his performance. But no matter what, his performance always surpasses everything else. "Several compliments come my way, even via online comments. Some call me the next Zakir Hussain, while others say I am a budding legend," he says sheepishly. So what keeps him grounded? "Our ancestors have taught us a lot and it is our responsibility to carry it forward. I will never forget that. I want to make my guruji and parents proud," he says. Did we mention that his school, SD Public School, where he is pursuing his class XII, is extremely supportive? For example, they are going to start practical exams only from April 21st so that he can participate in the festival. How cool!

But most of all, it is his mother that Nishit aims to please. "It is she who points out my mistakes because she wants me to do better. So no matter what the audience says, I want to make my mother happy," he says with a smile.

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