‘Bonds of eternity ’

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Father’s Day is an occasion to renew the bond of love which a father shares with children.

Celebrations differ from person to person but the main purpose behind the celebration is to honour and appreciate the contributions of a father, who is a role model and foundation of a family.

In a  chit-chat with Public Telegraph, the father-son duo ‘Pandit Bhajan Sopori’ – a living legend and a musical genius, a performer, musicologist teacher, writer, poet and an extraordinary personality  who is ‘Saint of the Santoor’  and young Santoor player –‘Abhay Rustum Sopori’, son and student of Pandit Bhajan Sopori share their feelings  about this beautiful  relationship ….

Pandit Bhajan Sopori:

What do you think is the role of the father in the society?

Well, a child’s affection with its mother is obvious as it’s a deep emotional bond. A father also shares this bond and is an anchor in a Childs life. India had essentially been a patriarchal society. The father would not only be a role model but also the main earning hand to the entire family. Indian has had the concept of joint families where women traditionally were not in forefront.

They looked after the house and brought up the children giving them the best of the sanskars (values) while the head of the family or the father would work. The behaviour of the man in the house is what the child sees and replicates. So what we are, we are actually giving to the society in the years to come.

Definition of modern day’s father in your words?

Well, to put it simply, I would say that a father is a teacher at home who together with his partner (the mother) is creating unison of two thought into a common identity – the child.

 What is the role of modern day fathers in upbringing children?

Today father’s role is much deeper compared to earlier times. Women folk would earlier take care of the family and house and the father would be the one earning the livelihood. But with changing times, both mother and father are working now and father has also taken a share of mother’s role in bringing up the children and giving them the values of the family and traditions of our rich heritage.

The relation surly becomes deeper when one is able to share time with children, hear them, their queries, their inquisitiveness.

 What is the best thing you enjoy raising your children?

Well, though little, but I enjoyed the childhood of my children. They were very playful. Even the neighbours would agree. Playing cricket and breaking windows, complaints coming in yet another house screaming at them along with their entire group.

But yet they were loved by the same people, perhaps more than me because they were the ones who would ensure their safety. One can see a reflection of one own self while raising their children. It’s what you want yourself to be like forever and your child is that medium.

What do you feel is the difference in the relation between father and children in modern times as compared to the relation in past times?

Well, a bit to some degree. Today, the relation is like a friendly one compared to a generation back in India. According to me this difference should be towards having a relationship which has more space and freedom, but no compromises on the discipline.

What habits/qualities you like best about your child/children?

I have two sons. Elder one Sohrab who is the Country Head in an Advertising firm and Abhay Rustum, the younger one who is a renowned musician. When they both were young, we made it a point that discipline and value system is given high priority.

As a result we see what they are today. To be able to respect every being, respect for society, state and country is something they have inherited. I feel proud of them that apart from their respective professional success they are good human beings full of love and compassion.

Pandit Bhajan Sopori , Abhay Rustum Sopori

Pandit Bhajan Sopori , Abhay Rustum Sopori

Abhay Rustum Sopori

What do you like best about your father?

My father is my hero, idol, guide, mentor and Guru. There is so much in him. His entire being and persona is something I always wish to bring in my personality. He is a great master musician, a legend yet humble and soft human being; he is strong yet sensitive; he is strict yet caring.

A great humanitarian at heart, he stood against all odds building a harmonious musical environment in the State of J&K. His care for country’s artists and musicians, the young generation and upcoming talent is limitless. His life is beyond his own self and the family. For him it’s the oneness of complete humanity.

He has used his Santoor and his compositions to highlight the concept of oneness and foster unity enshrining the idea of national integration, humanism and peace. To be his son is my greatest gift and blessing.

What is the best moment you have had with your father?

Well as many breaths I would have taken till now. He is my guru, my teacher too. So there’s a different kind of relationship that I share with him. It would be very difficult to say that any one moment would be more special.

 Do you have any special plans for this Father’s Day?

I believe that a dedicated day like this one is nice but it should be celebrated throughout the year. I will of course wish him, but it will not be any different from any other day. India as a country is fortunate that way and we have been brought up in this way; we live together and share each and every moment of life together.

As a child I didn’t know this kind of celebrations even existed. So we celebrate each day as a wonderful beginning of yet another moment of life.

Pandit Bhajan Sopori , Abhay Rustum Sopori

Pandit Bhajan Sopori , Abhay Rustum Sopori

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