Honoured to be in our father's shadow: Amaan-Ayaan

New Delhi, June 18 (IANS) They have been playing sarod for over 15 years, but Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan are quite happy under the shadow of their father, sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, because he is the "best".

"It's an honour to be in the shadow of the best!" Ayaan told IANS Saturday, a day ahead of Father's Day.

Though Amjad, Amaan and Ayaan are a treat for the ears whenever they perform together, the two brothers are also trying to carve their own niche.

"It's been a long journey and we are doing our best to reach out to a new audience and new listeners. We ourselves have now been on stage for over eighteen years. You cannot set out with a thought to not be in your father's shadow or being a rebel. What might work is that as you follow a path that your teacher shows you and miracles can just happen," Amaan said in an e-mail interview.

Both Amaan and Ayaan were taught to play sarod by their father, who is a great source of inspiration for them.

"For as long as we can remember, the first mantra taught by our father, and in our case, our guru as well, was to be a good human being and to be a symbol of the etiquette and manners ('tehzeeb' and 'tameez', as we call it). This was pretty much the code even during school days. Bad marks were acceptable but any bad behaviour was not taken well," said Ayaan.

The brothers have also written a book on their father - "Abba: God's Greatest Gift To Us".

"Abba, as we call our father, is a complete disciplinarian. In fact, we feel proud to say that we have contributed to his elegant silver hair! In spite of being the monumental icon of music that he is, he continues to be an individual full of humility and a complete simpleton," Ayaan added.

So what are the plans of pampering their dad this Father's Day?

"Honestly, it's a little strange that we have started celebrating Father's Day in India as it really doesn't seem to sink with the Indian way of living or even the Indian lifestyle. All days are Father's Day and Mother's Day. However, it's perhaps a good reason to get a gift or do something that you haven't done for your father to keep the essence active.

"We really don't have a plan yet, but we do hope that we have a very wonderful day together, like all days!" Amaan said.

Amaan and Ayaan are also set to release an album called "Everything is Everywhere" in collaboration with American folk artist Carrie Newcomer.

"This was recorded a few months ago in Bloomington in Indiana and we are really looking forward to the release. This is the first time folk or country music is being collaborated with the sarod as a whole album as opposed to just a track," he pointed out.

This apart, they are looking forward to some concert tours with their father in Europe and the US.

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