By Utpal Borpujari
The bitter experience of a shelved film debut notwithstanding, Sarod’s young heirs Amaan And Ayaan Ali Khan are still keen on acting in movies, even if just for some “creative flirtation”.
Amaan and Ayaan, the sons of Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and former danseuse Subhalakshmi Barua Khan, were slated to make their big screen debut against twin modesl Tupur and Tapur Chatterjee in a romantic action drama by J P Dutta of Border and Refugee fame, but the project was aborted due to financial problems.
The brothers kept off their public performances for more than a year under instruction from Dutta, who wanted to reduce their public appearances till the film was released, but now they are back in action, performing in public again.
“It (the Dutta film) was a bad and a sad experience. This is the first failure venture of us, and we had a very bitter experience,” Amaan, the elder sibling, told Deccan Herald.
The latest public performance by the duo was in the capital a couple of days ago to mark the launch of “50 Maestros, 50 Recordings” authored by them and published by Harper Collins, chronicling work and life of 50 greatest classical musicians India has ever seen.
“In the run up to the making of the film, we trained hard, going to the gym for two hours every day, and waking up at four in the morning to learn horse riding. There was no time for music, and though we did not get disconnected from music completely, we were also not loyal to it,” says Amaan.
But as Ayaan puts it, both the brothers are keen to act in films despite what he terms as “the ugliest experience” for them. “We are open to film offers, because of the time and energy we have put in to prepare for the aborted project. We just won’t let it go waste,” he says.
Amaan, almost in perfect harmony of a jugalbandi, adds to it, “This was a bad experience we faced. But either you take it as a disadvantage, or turn it into an advantage. For musicians, pain is a very good thing, as music becomes more soulful. I would like to believe in that.”
“But we are not for doing films as an alternative career, but more as a creative flirtation,” he says, as both brothers point to classical music greats featured in their book who have acted in films without compromising on their music – M S Subbulakshmi, Ustad Zakir Hussain, T R Mahalingam, Balamurali Krishna et al.