Zakir Hussain can be considered India’s most famous tabla player. Beginning his relationship with music at the age of 3, when he learnt to play the mridang, he has inspired countless budding musicians. He began playing concerts at the age of 12 and has since performed an average of 150 concerts a year.
Hussain is a great role model for young children, showing them the benefits of working hard and committing themselves to a goal from an early age. ‘Zakir and his Tabla: Dha Dhin Na’ is an engaging and entertaining manner in which to introduce children to the world and work of Zakir Hussain.
The book follows Hussain’s love for music – from the first words he hears (his father’s bols) to the constant drumming of his hands against everything he sees. Author Sandhya Rao traces Hussain’s relationship beautifully, following the beats of his life and using them to draw together different instances from his upbringing and childhood.
The story is engaging and Hussain’s image is captured in all its glory by illustrator Priya Kuriyan’s use of fine lines and subtle yet vibrant colours. The book manages to capture Zakir Hussain’s warmth and energy, along with his mop of curls, to create a wholesome and realistic character for children.