As the global Coronavirus outbreak spelt a series of museum closures and postponed performances and concerts, India's most-celebrated tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain says that the humanity will need to come together to fight the pandemic.
"It is too early to tell what the effect of this disease will be but it is clear that humanity needs to come together and fight this. There needs to be a serious focus on hygiene, like washing hands every 20 minutes, drinking warm water every few minutes, wiping all metal surfaces in the house and of course keeping… the distance with other people around you.
"If and when we survive this, then we can ask the government and big corporations to help restart the support for arts," the doyen told IANSlife when asked how we can sustain the arts in this difficult times.
The Ustaad was part of a concert postponed due to COVID-19, along with Indian classical violinist Kala Ramnath and Carnatic musician Jayanthi Kumaresh – "both top-shelf premier artists representing both North and South Indian music".
Last month, Ustad Zakir Hussain had paid homage to his father and guru Ustad Allarakha on his centenary, in the form of several multi-artist performances that spanned a day.
"We had a multi-layered relationship, I was his son, then his student, then his apprentice, then his colleague and finally his friend. I cherish every moment that I spent with him. He was and is the horizon I still reach for," he said about his father.
He hopes to reinstate the concert, once a virus is contained and eradicated.
"These concerts are a way for us all to connect with each other through music. When we are all cooped at home, this can be a welcome change to everyone and keep their minds diverted to something positive when all one hears is about the virus and everyone is in tenterhooks worried about their respective future.
"We musicians are also worried but there is no point worrying and by doing these concerts we are trying to say what better than music to keep us all positive," Kala Ramnath added..