Tabla is the most important and essential drum set in South Asian music. At the same time, it is among the most difficult musical instruments to play. Ustad Ajmal Ali Khan has been playing tabla for ages now. Pakistan’s sociocultural and economic environment does not encourage and support those engaged in keeping the traditional musical instruments alive. Many have quit the field of music and the art of playing musical instruments is dying. But Ustad Ajmal says he could not quit tabla because it has become part of his soul. He complains that people criticize him but they don’t know one has to dedicate one’s whole life for mastering and transmitting an art. Rana Kashif, Director Art Academy Islamabad, believes people like Ustad Ajmal Khan are real asset of Pakistan and should be given due respect and acknowledgment. More details in this Saga video by Amar Bilal.

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It takes life to master and transmit an art

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