Musician Salim Merchant on how honesty and dedication towards one’s work can help in attaining a perfect harmony between body and mind

I am not sure about the need for physical fitness required to be a good singer. We know that the great singer Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan didn’t have good health but he was a mind-blowing singer. But yes, one thing is for sure that if you want to be a good singer, you need a great heart. In my opinion, to be a good singer, your soul and your heart should be at peace. And if your heart and mind are not in harmony or in right orientation, you may not sing honestly. I consider sarangi maestro Ustad Sultan Khan as my guru. Not only music, but I have learnt a lot of things about life from him. One has to be honestly dedicated to his work. This dedication makes him fit for that particular work. Actually, my practice session or riyaaz is not so well-organised. . I wear a lot of hats. Most of the times, I am either composing, producing or playing music, singing and lots and lots of work like that. That is how I spend my day. I can say, all these form a kind of practice-session for me. I must say that it’s the dedication towards music that persuades me to do such things throughout the day and it’s a sort of riyaaz for me. Music is a very powerful force, and even if one is not in a state of peace , the music can take you there. If you are sincerely working on the composition, your body, mind and spirit will automatically come together.

(As told to ARUN SINGH)