I am the pleasant sound of Tabla of Ustad Zakir HussainYou have heard me in many concerts. You have heard me in television and in radio. My Ustad has provided musical support (sangat) to many great Hindustani classical vocal musicians and instrumentalists. You have heard me along with the melodious voices of Ustad Rashid Khan, Late Pandit Malikarjun Mansoor, Kishori Amonkar and many others. You have heard me with the flute played by Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, sitar of Late Pandit Ravi Shankar or sarod of Late Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Although I accompany others, I do not play the second fiddle. My Ustad has carved a niche for himself. Do you know who am I? I am the sound of Tabla being played by Ustad Zakir Hussain.
Ustad Zakir Hussain, the illustrious son of Late Ustad Alla Rakha, was a child prodigy. He started playing Tabla at a very young age. He started touring at an age of 11. I still remember how Late Ustad Alla Rakha used to train his son. I still remember the basic strokes like Ta, Ghe, Ga, Thin, Dha, Dhin, Ka or Kath, Na, Tete, Ti, Dhere dhere, which Ustad Zakir Hussain used to learn from his illustrious father. I still remember the way Zakir Hussain learned Teen Taals, Jhoomra, Tilwada, Dhamar under the able guidance of his father. How can I forget Zakir Hussain's innumerable concerts with Late Pandit Ravi Sankar, Late Ustad Ali Akbar, Kishori Amonkar and Late Malikarjun Mansoor, in India and abroad? Although the audiences come to hear the melodious voices and the beautiful strokes of Sarod and Sitar, they do appreciate me. They become spell-bound by the beautiful sound emanated by me. Later Zakir Hussain has started giving solo performance which was earlier unthinkable for any Tabla player. Under the expert strokes of Ustad Zakir Hussain, I give my best and make people spell-bound. People love me under Ustad Zakir Hussain's expert hands and fingers. The appreciation also brings out the best in me. When I come out from the Tabla of the Ustad, people remain enchanted. I feel immense pride when people appreciate me (the sound of the Tabla). This pride further makes me determined to give heavenly pleasure to my audience, either solo or with others voices or instruments.
I humbly pray to the Almighty to give me the capacity to enable people to forget the sorrows and sufferings of daily life. I also express my gratitude to Ustad Zakir Hussain, who has taken this percussion instrument to such a height that the listeners can't ignore me as only companion to other voice or instrument. Last but not the least, I express my love and gratitude to my audience whose appreciation has taken me to my present position.