A dreamer who defined heritage through his art

Himalayan News Service


Fans, relatives and close friends at Yalamaya Kendra paid a tearful tribute to tabla maestro Atul Gautam who passed away last week Far from hype and media spotlight, Atul’s works are yet unknown to many. The atmosphere grew intense in esteem of his greatness when one of the members of Sukarma Dr Drubesh Regmi broke down in the middle of his speech. According to Regmi, the late artiste had dreams to uplift classical music in the country, dreams that he held dear to his heart. “He always believed that music should identify nation and nationality,” Regmi said. “Atul had dreamt of identifying national heritage through music, build a shelter for HIV/AIDS victims and establish a musical academy to promote classical music in Nepal.” Three-man band Sukarma has lost a crucial member. Sanjaya Varma, counsellor of Indian Embassy, compared Atul’s notes to Ravi Shankar’s music and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s voice. “We have lost one of the most talented artistes in the South Asian region,” he said.

Others at the programme were litterateur Kama Mani Dixit, Salil Subedi, journalists Kanak Mani Dixit, Gunaraj Luitel, Chatang Master as well as Dr Govinda Tandan and Anupam Bhatiya. They emphasised the need to find a replacement for Atul, a man who could bridge classical heritage with modern trends. The nation has lost a versatile talent. “If we can make his dream come true it will not only be a gift to the nation but also a great contribution to music at large,” said Regmi.