Our lives thrive on moments. From the happiest to gravest of your moments relived as memories. A few that give you a reason to live and a few that haunt you. We are all results of our experiences, our moments. It is although funny how often we never realize how important a moment was years later in life. How a video on social media on a Handpan artist changed his life for the good. This is the story of how the Handpan found Muki Sablania.
MUKI SABLANIA THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR:
Think about a man in his late 20s. Completely killin' it in his fancy Advertising job in a big Advertising Agency in Delhi and one day it doesn't feel like the place it once was. The man who was the king at what he did one day, put his papers down and call it quits the next day. Goes back home and tells his wife who is still unaware of his decision and asks her if she would like to just go wherever the road takes them.
Muki always drummed with his fingers on tables or any place he thought gave a sound. During one of his impromptu jams at work, his colleague showed him a video where a man played the Handpan. This was the first time he was introduced to this instrument. He didn't pay much attention to it back then. Little did he know it was going to change his life.
Months after quitting his job, he still felt directionless. Thought that his career in advertising was over. He stared at the ceiling week after week, trying to figure out how to get out of this deepening well that was swallowing him. But on one of the not so very fine days, he came across the video of the man playing the Handpan once again. After months he felt like there was a little spark in the darkness of his slump. He tried to find out more about the instrument.
Convinced that his career in advertising was over and this was probably the only thing that gave him hope of a new start, he looked for it relentlessly. Just to figure out that no one made one of these in India and everyone who knew about it told him the number he couldn't think of investing. So he decided to make his own. Because that is what he always did as a child. Couldn't afford a guitar? Made it himself. Couldn't afford a cricket bat? Made it himself. Couldn't afford a Handpan? Made it out of an LPG cylinder. Took him 6 months of continuous hammering to get it to a point that he was satisfied with.
He always carried a Handpan with him whenever he went. It was his skin.
MUKI AS Aparamparagata:
He took his Handpan on all of his travels. It was his way of life. His way of communicating and starting a conversation with strangers. Slowly he gained all the confidence and positivity he had lost. He became a happier person who wasn't trying to run behind the bigger things and started enjoying life at the moment. Through his journey of finding himself, his wife Manika continues to be his biggest pillar. They would travel to remote beaches in Goa or the rivers in Hampi. Would watch Dolphins dance to the tune of his Handpan and just find the nature dance to his tunes.
He slowly realized that his music not just healed him and brought him out of a bad place, but it had the similar healing effect on people. He once met an Isreali woman who had started moving to his rhythm that she had a severe injury 7 years ago and had stopped dancing completely. But listening to him play, made her want to go back to what she loved doing the most. Just like how Muki also found his way back to his first love, Advertising. Just that, things were better this time.
He started performing by the name of Aparamparagata which means Unconventional.
MUKI AND THE KALAKARIS:
Throughout his journey in music, Muki strongly believes that you can never become a Handpan player. The Handpan plays you. Your fingers touch the Handpan depending on how you feel and your surroundings. There are no rules. Just peace. When he initially went looking for a Handpan, he didn't know where to start and whom to approach. He eventually did have makers from the UK and Philipines offering to help, looking at his compassion for the instrument. He started creating his own instruments and wanted to create a network for people who did not know whom to approach just like him. His dream is to create a village and call it 'The Kalakari Village' where just musicians, artists, and anyone with a talent gets to meet like-minded people like them, collaborate and give birth to something never seen before. A space that is so inviting that it nurtures your creativity without distractions from all ends.
He has been collaborating with new artists who play instruments that half the world is unaware of. Trying to promote Indie music, musicians and culture that is yet to get the limelight.
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