A Visionary to Preserve Heritage
Pianist Ehsanul Haque
Promiti Prova Chowdhury
Courtesy: Pianist Ehsanul Haque
I have been privileged enough to pursue education from the 200 year old Saint Paul's School at Darjeeling which has a rich line for extracurricular activities. Life in school can be divided into two phases. One is from class 1 up to class 6, when I was the kind of boy who was ignored by everyone. But things changed when a very precious friend entered into my life. He was Salil Thapa, a great singer! His inspiration is perhaps the sole driving force behind my involvement in music. In class seven we became very good friends. He used to sing and I played whatever I could in piano. In class eight he almost dragged me to the music department of our school. From that point onwards, I delved into the world of music, studied it with an obsession. In class eight I got to join the school choir through an audition.
I was attracted towards the good number of pianos kept in the department and the books containing lessons on them. My music teacher Sudeep Pande, whom I look up to, allowed me to go through them. Besides, I bought many books of similar kind from outside school to have a stronger hold on piano. In this way I learned to play the chords and read music notes. In class 9 and 10, I stood out as the best pianist and for the next two consecutive years I won the title of 'Best All rounder in Music'. I used to practice 5/6 hours a day. Side by side I was doing a major on music at the branch of Trinity College of Music, UK in Darjeeling. By class 12, I was done with my graduation on music from Trinity College by completing a total of eight levels on Piano. Now my target is to obtain the internationally acclaimed LTCL degree on music from the same college.
After A Level I came back to Dhaka and joined the Department of English at East West University. Campus life was fantastic. I became the runners up in an intra-university talent hunt competition named 'Star Search' in the category of instrumental music by playing a professional electronic keyboard. This year in February, I had my solo show organised at Chayanaut, the leading cultural organisation.
I have been teaching students piano in private for last five years. But the keenness and dedication that I look forward to is sadly missing in them. They do not want to study it rather they are more interested in learning a few chords and get popular instantly.
The kind of music that you can create with piano is not possible to create with a keyboard. There are five star hotels where one will see pianists and there are piano teachers too. But I have a vision to compose songs with piano. I want to use this western instrument to promote and preserve our very own music of this subcontinent which is extremely rich. Using piano as a tool I want to play the songs of Runa Laila, Abbas Uddin, Lalon Shah and get established as an internationally renowned pianist and hold the name of my nation high.
I still listen to the gramophone records of Indu Bala, Kanon Bala, Sachin Dev Burman, songs created by Khan Ataur Rahman and many more. I get amazed to see how piano was used back then to create songs like 'eki shonar aloye jibon voriye dile'. If things were possible back then, why cannot we create the magic once again today, when we are privileged with all sorts of facilities?