Mayank, the Sitarist

M K Pandita

Mayank a young and talented personality born of a famous family of artists, hailing from Badiyar Bala Srinagar and educated from University of Delhi in the stream of music and holder of senior Diploma in music (Instrumental Sitar) from Prayag Sangeet Samiti Allahabad, besides, attaining the Diploma Sangeet Bhushan in Instrumental music from Pracheen Kalakendra Chandigarh is today face to face talking to our Daily Excelsior Correspondent. He recollects the age of 11 years when he gave a solo performance of Sitar racital in the Abhinav Theatre under the aegis of most prestigious J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages to the full appreciation of cheering audience. Music and Art is in his blood since his forefathers belonged to this very lineage of Art and Mayank feels proud and fortunate enough that his talent is inherital in character. Excerpts of interview:
Q. You have a taste for music. “Music is in my blood,” as you said. How do you believe so ?
A. Yes, my great grandfather Pt Shiv Nath Raina was a famous artist of erstwhile State of J&K, besides, being a musician of repute. My grand father Omkar Nath Raina was a well known and honoured Sitarist of Northern India and initially, I received my training under his able guidance and tutelage.
Q. Music is so your inherital character. Did your father also had the taste for it ?
A. Yes, my father was a well versed artist of Instrumental Sitar. And he later on, after my grand father became my real guide and taught me the basics of music.
Q. Could you tell us something about your father as a musician ?
A. Of course, I feel proud to tell you that my father, Sunil Raina is a well known musician and senior instructor in Sitar, in the Institute of Music and Fine Arts University of Jammu.
Q. When did you appear before the public as an artist ?
A. I was at the tender age of only 11 when I gave a solo performance of Sitar recital in the Abhinav Theatre, sponsored by the J&K Academy of Art & Culture.
Q. Did you ever have a chance to exhibit and express your art with your grand father also ?
A. Yes, I had an opportunity to play exclusive musical ‘Jugal Bandhi’ on Sitar with my famed grand father, Late Pt Omkar Nath Raina. This successful event was much appreciated by the audience and naturally I felt recognised and encouraged in my line.
Q. Did this event help you while becoming familiar in the lobby of musicians and artists ?
A. Yes, of course, there was a wide coverage of this event in the local and National press and other electronic media. Even Music critics glorified me as a child prodigy and since then there was no looking back.
Q. Thereafter you might have a natural exposure to your art. May we know a little of that ?
A. I shifted from Jammu to Delhi for further higher training in the field of music and I was lucky to have been accepted as a student by the world famous Starist Padma Bhushan, Pandit Debu Choudhary, Retired Professor and Chairman, Department of Music and Fine Arts, University of Delhi.
Q. Thus you shall certainly have been applauded, appreciated, received certificates and medals etc on different occasions :-
* I achieved an Award ‘Grade A’ in Sitar and Flute by AIR in the year 2018.
Certificate of Performance in different cities of Russia in 2019. * Obtained first Gold Medal in J&K in the history of 131 years in 2006. * Secured first Prize and first position in Instrumental Music solo competition in 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006 consecutively.
Q. Let us know of your recent performance since the becoming of Union Territory of J&K
* Yes, recently I was invited for performance in Radio concert organised by AIR, Jammu 2019. * Presented a Sitar recital during Golden Jubilee Celebration of University of Jammu in 2019. * Presented a Flute recital in the International Conference on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary 2019. * Performed at Naropa festival Ladakh 2018. * Apart from this, I had the opportunity of performing all over India and even abroad in front of world dignitaries, politicians, musicians, artists and achieved great appreciation, awards and rewards. Alo attended Judgements, lectures, demonstrations and other experiences.
I represented and performed different concerts, conferences and recitals conducted abroad.
I express my thanks from the core of my heart to all my lovers of Music and Art who have acclaimed and praised my work till today which actually gives a boost to my profession.