Google came out with a special doodle on October 16, commemorating Indian Tabla maestro, Lachhu Maharaj. The day marks the 74th birth anniversary of the table master.
Born as Lakshmi Narayan Singh in 1944, into a family of musicians from the Benaras Gharana. Due to this, he was exposed to music and the rhythm from a very young age. He chose tabla as his instrument and started training and performing early in his life, under his father, Vasudev Maharaj.
Ahmed Jaan Thirakwa, one of the most prominent solo tabla player in the 20th century, once encountered a young boy playing the tabla akin to an expert. Reportedly, he is known to have wished that this eight-year-old boy was his son. This boy grew up to be one of the best tabla players in the industry, who came to be professionally known as 'Lachhu Maharaj'.
Even though he has played in several movies and collaborated with other musicians, Lacchu Maharaj is most remembered for his solo performances, which often left the audience mesmerized and enthralled. He mostly collaborated with Girija Devi, a famous classical singer from the same Gharana.
According to reports, she used to say that Maharaj used to play for hours together and every rhythm was a different one, with new gats, new tukras and parans.
He received the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1957, which is considered the highest honour for the performing artistes.
Apprently, when the emergency was imposed in India (1975-1977), Maharaj was put in jail. But the prison bars could not stop his music, as he played the tabla inside the jail as a sign of protest. He was also presented with the Padma Shri award. However, he refused to accept it.
Maharaj used to believe that the appreciation for his art was much more worthy than any award. He passed away on 28 July 2016 (aged 71), following a heart attack. He was cremated at the Manikarnika Ghat in Varanasi.