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GM of hotel can’t keep his hands off tabla

Shubhaskar Bose, general manager of Renaissance Bengaluru Race Course Hotel, has been playing the tabla since a long time. Born into a Bengali family, music at home was simply the norm. His two sisters were also into classical music and they were regulars at the All India Radio. Bose used to visit the Birla Sabhaghar and Kalamandir in Kolkata to attend Indian classical concerts and music festivals featuring stalwarts such as Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Shivkumar Sharma.

He says, “My father was fascinated by Ustad Zakir Hussain and Alla Rakha. Hence, he decided to get me into tabla. I started playing when I was about five years old.” His interest further developed when he started receiving appreciation from his teachers and the audience. “I was short and my hands were small. It was difficult to play but I could get the right notes and even the experts who would take my practical exams were impressed,” he mentions. Bose has also participated in several concerts but now, he says he hasn’t been able to devote much time to music because of his tight schedule but still plays the tabla during his leisure hours. He says, “When I had just joined Taj in West Bengal, I remember there was a Nepali bell boy who used to sing really well. During our night shifts, I would join him and we used to sing together. Back then, there weren’t too many international flights late at night, so we had more time.”

Bose has found his world in hotel management and says music has helped him a lot. He practises three to four times a week. “Hotel management is a 365-day job. One cannot lock a hotel and go on vacations. Hence, it is important to find an interest that keeps you motivated to do your job and Indian classical music has helped me stay calmer, grounded and humble,”he says. At Renaissance, he enjoys listening to artistes who play the flute and tabla in the morning every day. “Since I’m into Indian classical music, I understand their music better,” he says.

Apart from music, Bose loves sports and says football and cricket are an integral part of every Bengali household. He has played cricket all his teens and participated in several tournaments for the clubs he was representing, till he got a job in hotel management 17 years ago. He is also an avid traveller and has been to lesser-known places and loves to interact with local people and experience their culture and tradition.

Bose plans to get back to playing the tabla this year and plans to join a school to enhance his skills and meet like-minded people. He is also happy to see his eight-year-old daughter develop an interest in classical art and adds that she is learning Bharatnatyam as well.

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