The award-winning brothers share some heart-warming facts about their lives in this interview from the Darbar Festival 2016. As siblings their bonding has stood the test of time on stage and beyond it. “It is love that has kept us together,” they say.
Pandits Rajan and Sajan Mishra were born in the vibrant city of temples in India – Varanasi. They are the senior-most living exponents of the 300-year-old legacy of the Benares gharana. Pandit Sajan Mishra is four years younger to Pandit Rajan Mishra; They gave their first public performance together in a ‘haazri’, a ritual in Varanasi where budding musicians are showcased in a public performance in a temple. Ever since, they have never separated as performers.
Back home, the families continue to live under the same roof, where their sons and grandchildren still share food cooked in the same kitchen and happily share a common space as they grow up. This is indeed phenomenal in the modern isolative culture where families are increasingly shrinking to nuclear units.
Steeped in music, culture and spiritualism, the vibrant streets, alleys and temples of Varanasi has provided them the opportunity to internalise the finest details of their art as they grew up. It would be safe to say that they are the authorities of the Benares gayaki, having developed an immersive style of presentation that gives their listeners an uplifting experience.
“Music can penetrate into your heart and that will bring peace and silence to your world," says Rajan Mishra. The brothers paint a picture of their childhood, upbringing and the music they have absorbed growing up around the alleys, homes, temples and ‘ghats’ (flight of steps of a temple leading to down to the river) of Varanasi. In an inimitable English, soaked in the typical Hindi accent of Varanasi, this interview is an endearing, real and honest experience for the listeners.
Glimpses of Raag Mian Ki Malhar, which they had performed in the festival, is also shown in this interview.