For more than four years now we have brought you extraordinary stories of success and extraordinary achievements. Today’s account is about a young man who has bought a home in Mumbai, drives his SUV and has traveled to all countries in the world except Russia and Japan. He has overcome harsh living conditions and today he is a popular name in the global music industry. But this fame and luxury were not always a part of his life.
Misery and poverty filled every corner of house where Deepak Bhatt was born in 1988. After migrating from Rajasthan, his father made a living by sculpting and singing at weddings in Mumbai. “When I was seven, my father used to take me around the city on his bicycle. Whenever we spotted a place with some decorations and celebrations, we would start singing loudly hoping that somebody would call us inside,” says Deepak.
At the age of 10, he sold toran (string of mango leaves use for decorating homes) and sang on Juhu-Chowpatty hoping to come back to his mother with a few rupees. The only thing that broke the silence of those difficult times was music in the rhythmic beats of dhol.
While others saw it as a misfortune to be born in such a poor household, Deepak says it was his luck to be born wrapped in music. At the age of eight, Deepak began playing dhol all by himself carefully observing every sound. Since an early age he felt he understood the beats better than the people around him.
In his early teenage, Deepak was playing dholak (smaller version of dhol) at functions, marriages and even took his passion in the corridors of Mumbai local trains. One day, he was drowned in music and played his best on a train and somebody noticed the talent and potential in him. Luckily for Deepak, this gentleman knew Ustad Taufiq Qureshi who is a well-known percussionist and composer.
Son of legendary tabla player Ustad Alla Rakha and brother of Ustad Zakir Hussain, Taufiq decided to mentor Deepak and groom his talent. He was only 14-year-old then but turned out to be a quick learner and came across as very promising student. Taufiq motivated him and said there were many who could play tabla and other percussion instruments; but only a few leaned towards dhol.
Often people find pleasure in making fun out of other’s struggle. When Deepak helped Taufiq with musical set-up and moved around things on the stage, people made fun of him said he was only a labor, just an errand boy. These things broke his heart but he paid no attention to the negativity thrown at him and persisted on polishing his skills.
Today, the boy, who studied only till STD 7, is topping the charts of music all over the world. One day his friend told him that Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy were looking for a dhol player for their band. He went for the audition, floored everyone by his performance and got a place in the band. He knew his journey towards success had now begun.
My parents are really happy seeing me where I am today, especially my mom. She feels very proud. But I have to do a lot more work for I have just begun.
Till date, Deepak has toured and performed with renowned artists like Zakir Hussain, AR Rahaman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Amit Trivedi, Steve Smith and Vishal – Shekar. He has toured all around the world and has also shared the stage with Pritam, Salim – Suleman, Shankar Mahadevan.
He had participated in The Grammy award winning World Music Album 2009 Global Drum Project and also been a part of the 2009 Indian Circus A R Rahman band in Germany for Primetime Entertainment. His work has also been a part of Dhoom 2, Bhool Bhulaiya, 2 States, Life In A Metro and a dozen more. He has also played on the sets of MTV Unplugged with Ranjit Barot.
He has once again shown the world that no matter where you are, if you love what you do and give it your absolute best then you are sure to shine as a diamond. A humble and down-to-earth Deepak has taken his art from footpaths, compartments of Mumbai local trains to a global audience.
I have lived many a dreams but many remain. I wish to become a music composer and compose for legendary Amitabh Bachchan.
Deepak agrees that his life has turned out to be nothing less than a dream. It has been possible only because he held on to his passion and kept playing at some event or the other. He has achieved money, recognition and a deep sense of satisfaction and stands-out as a tremendous source of inspiration.
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