Kathmandu:

While most of people are engaged in modern music and Western instruments, there are handful who are dedicated to the Eastern classical. When Roshan Sharma plays the chaturangi (a type of slide guitar), the mesmerising tunes is nothing less than spellbinding.

He started playing the guitar at a very young age. “I heard my brother playing the guitar and watching him strum the guitar, I was hooked. He was my first teacher and my journey in the field of music began then and there,” says Roshan.

The first song he learnt to play was Country Road, and listening to Metallica and Joe Satriani, he was influenced by the way they improvised in music.

“After my SLC I was doing ISc but my inclination in music made me leave the dream of becoming a doctor and decided to devote more time to music,” he says as explanation of his musical shift.

Today he has already completed his Masters and is teaching in Kavre Multiple Campus and doing yet another Masters in music. “Back then when I was learning music, there were not many resources to learn. The only guide available for guitar was Ram Thapa’s Guitar Guide, but today youth have access to everything through the Internet and media. Maybe the quest to learn made us more dedicated towards it,” opines Roshan.

After concentrating on guitar for seven years, he was introduced to Eastern classical music by his neighbour Anushree Banerjee, who was a classical singer. “I used to practice classical tunes on the guitar but I could not get the perfect tune,” he recalls. The turning point came when he was walking past Thamel and suddenly heard some instrumental music in one of the CD shops. The piece was from Grammy winner Pandit Bishwa Mohan Bhatt’s album A meeting by the river. “That was when I realised that chaturangi was my real calling and that I will dedicate my life to learning and playing it,” he adds.

He got in touch with the musician through a phone number he got from a website. Soon Pandit Bhatt called him to Kolkata. There Roshan took a few classes from the maestro. Later, on Banerjee’s suggestion, Roshan took formal education on chaturangi from his Guru Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya.

“Music, especially classical, needs lots of dedication. You need to give it priority and get over many obstacles. But nowadays people need instant recognition, which is not possible in classical music. Lots of motivation, persistence, dedication, passion and intensity to learn is needed,” he adds. “Youth today have dedication, information, idea and passion, but lack patience. And one should always remember that education is equally important. If you leave education for music, later on you will curse music when you don’t get the desired results. So make it a passion but not a medium to make money. If money comes along the way, then it’s great,” he says.

He believes that harder the preparation, the better is the recognition when it comes.

Among other artistes, he like Manoj Singh, Jeevan Rai, Manohar Gurung and Jigme Dorje Sherpa, and among the up coming youngsters, he finds Sandesh from Sayaas and Bibhushan Pathak promising.

Catch Roshan Sharma playing live at Taranga Restaurant, Bijulibazaar every Saturday, and at Moksh, Pulchowk every Friday.