Salil Choudhary -The Musical Maestro
In 1958, there used to be a very popular Indian musical instrument store in South California (Los Angeles). It was the only store that used to sell authentic Indian instruments in America.
One day a 36-year-old Indian young man came to this shop and started watching the instruments carefully. This man with simple costumes could not attract anything special to the sales people there . But still a sales girl Christina came to him and asked "how can I help you ?" She said with a mocking smile.
The young man demanded to see the Sitar an Indian Music Instrument and Cristina showed him a collection of Sitars .But the person left all the Sitars and liked a particular Sitar and insisted to see it . Since it was at height and in the showcase.It was difficult to take it off . By then David, the owner of the shop, had also come out of his cabin because no one had insisted on seeing that sitar till date . However, Christina boasted, when the sitar was lowered.
"It is called Boss Sitar and the common musician cannot play it. It is used in very big shows" .The Indian said, "You call it the boss sitar, but we know it by the name of Surbahar Sitar . Can I play it ?
By now the people of all the shops had gathered there . Well , David allowed to play and Then he played the Raga "Khamj" .
His melody was such that all the people in the store feel like they had gone to another world . No one had any sense of time and place . Like everything stopped there . When the raga was over Whoa there was such a silence as it happens after the storm goes away .People did not understand that they should clap to stay silent .
David became so emotional that he said to the Indian "After all, who are you? I have listened Pandit Ravi Shankar and no one plays like him but you are no less than him . I am blessed today , You came to my shop .Tell me what I can do for you.The man asked to buy the sitar but David said take it as a gift from me . Why this sitar had no value, it was priceless, I cannot sell it now .
Kristina, who was crying till now, kissed that man and gave a dollar note saying that "I used to underestimate Indians . Even when you came to the shop, I made you feel bad .But you surprised me .I don't know if you ever meet me or not, so please write something for me .The person praising Christina finally wrote his name on the note" Salil Chaudhary "
In the same year Salil Chaudhary made a very famous Bengali song for his film using the same Surbahar sitar which was based on the raga Khamj . Later this song was composed in Hindi which was sung by Lata ji.
"O Sajna .. Barkha Bahar Aayi .. brought the spray of rasa .. brought love in the books" (Parakh - 1959)
We Indians have a lot of valuable heritage to impress people .. We have left all these and in which direction we have left today .. Our real pride is that we are being forgotten somewhere.