Artistic expressions :

Posted by-Kalki Team

For artist and musician Sanjay Ashtaputre, music and painting are synonymous with life.

The eight-day celebrations of the Hyderabad Art Festival, came to an end on Tuesday with a sitar recital by acclaimed artist and musician, Sanjay Ashtaputre.

It seemed like the man brought his paintings to life with the sitar, as the audience in the auditorium tapped their fingers to the melody. Age was clearly no bar, as college students and elderly persons were seen enjoying the event.

The soothing music was a fitting tribute to the completion of 75 years of the Hyderabad Art Society, which is second only to the Bombay Art Society in fame and size.

Sanjay showcased what art really means to him through his paintings. The man is no stranger to sculpture too, but admits that music brings him peace of mind.

“While painting, my hand is busy, but the mind is still wandering. But while playing music, it is tranquil. Painting is my profession and music my hobby. But dedication toward music came to me as time passed. I’ve been playing the sitar for 20 years,” he says.

Sanjay says that art comes easily to a person with a creative bent of mind. “Music was always in our family. My father was fond of classical music. I grew up in Maharashtra where most plays in theatres were based on Indian classical music. As an artist, I naturally got attracted to music, and realized that they are both very similar. Painting is a way of creating something beautiful, and so is music,” he says.

Tragedy struck when Sanjay lost his elder son. It became a turning point in his life. “I used to play music before, but not as seriously. When I lost my son, I could not paint at all for a few years, so I sought solace in music. Music helped me cope and helped me get back to painting again. Since I was dedicated to music at that time, it became a part of my life. Now, I cannot miss playing the sitar even for a day. Music and painting have become synonymous with breathing in and breathing out. Even if one stops, I cannot survive,” he says.

In India, only people who come from families of artists or those who have a passion for art, make up the culture, and art has not quite penetrated mainstream society. But Sanjay says that the scenario is now changing. “Festivals like this are increasingly promoting art and involving the common man. Street art is also now a phenomenon in Hyderabad, and people are embracing it. So, the change is happening,” he says.

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