Missing left hand does not cause drummer Saurabh Gadhavi to miss a beat!
In My Take this week, we have 22-year-old Saurabh Gadhavi, a drummer and percussionist from Gujarat. Saurabh’s left hand, below the elbow, was amputated a few days after his birth due to lack of calcium. Today, this youngster is a renowned percussionist who has proved his expertise with the drum, tabla and other musical instruments. He has performed in India and abroad too.
Soon after I was born, doctors identified calcium deficiency due to which they had to amputate my left hand below the elbow. Since I was five years old, my father Dinesh Gadhavi taught me how to play tabla, drums and percussion. Though I love tabla, it demands use of fingers. So it has always been difficult for me.
My family comprising of parents, siblings and grandparents are all very supportive of my musical journey. I studied at a normal school and I had a great bunch of friends and teachers who stood by me. Yes, some people used to point out my disability. But honestly, I was never bothered about the negative talks. I used to ignore that. If I had fallen for all those negative talks and listened to them, I wouldn’t have reached where I’am right now.
I completed my schooling and also did my under-graduation in commerce before pursuing music full-time.
Passion for music from childhood
From childhood, I was a music enthusiast because I belonged to a family of artists. My grandfather was a painter. My father and other relatives were into music. So arts was always there in my blood.
I started learning music by watching videos from the internet. By the age of ten, I performed at various venues and temple festivals where my family also used to perform.
I also started my own music band called SD Gadhavi and Rhythm. We are a group of music lovers who perform at various venues. I also collaborate with other music bands and does solo performances too.
Recently, I started doing water drumming, fire drumming and live jamming with DJ’s. It is fun and exciting!
Apart from all this, I’am involved in programs for disabled people in many ways.
I performed at the United Kingdom last September. It was a two month tour and really exciting. “Many people appreciated my work and performances. It made me very happy”.
Praise from top musicians
In 2009, I got the opportunity to present shows on All India Radio and Doordarshan. I got the Gujarat state award for my achievements in December 2019. Drummer Sivamani is my role model. After seeing one of my performances online, he called me up to congratulate and bless me. Even today, I get goose bumps when I think of it. Singer Sonu Nigam even shared a video on his Facebook page of me playing the tabla. Singer Falguni Pathak has also called me to wish good luck. I could also perform at the Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad which was a great thing for me.
I have a few plans lined up for the future. My career is definitely going to be a music-based one.
I want to perform in many places across the globe. For that, I want my team to be a part of my ventures.
Very soon, I hope to perform inside a studio. That has always been a dream close to my heart. I want to do it for some songs or maybe even a music album.
“I believe that God has made every person unique in their own ways. It might be difficult to bring out your talents at times. Work hard and strive to be successful”.
Watch in Sign Language
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