The search giant, Google have honoured tabla maestro Lachhu Maharaj with a Google Doodle on his 74th birth anniversary, today.
Lachhu Maharaj was born in Varanasi on 16 October 1944, as Lakshmi Narayan Singh. He took to the tabla at a young age. His training had been under his father Vasudev Narayan Singh. He also began performing on stage and he soon caught the attention of legendary tabla player Ahmed Jaan Thirakwa. Lachhu Maharaj was only eight at the time. Thirakwa is known to have said, “I wish Lachhu was my son”.
Lachhu Maharaj was known for his proficiency in playing the tabla as part of the Benaras Gharana- one of the six most common styles of playing the tabla, which was developed nearly 200 years ago.
Little does the world know that Maharaj was Actor Govinda’s maternal uncle and he learnt music from Maharaj during his childhood.
During the period of emergency, Maharaj was arrested and put behind the bars. He used to play the tabla inside the prison in order to protest and refused to accept any award bestowed on him, including the Padma Shri.
In 1957, he was honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi award, the highest award for performing artists.
He passed away on July 26, 2016 in Varanasi at the age of 72, after a prolonged illness.