Niladri Kumar, The great Sitar exponent of Bharat created a unique instrument called ZITAR which is actually a modified Sitar. It is a fiery-red, five stringed electric Sitar, which is made by combining Sitar and Guitar into one instrument.
It has mesmerised the world with unique mix of modernity with tradition. When this instrument is played it creates Rock Guitar sound along with Sitar sound. The number of strings on the instrument has been reduced to 5 from 20. An electric pick-up was added inside the instrument to make it sound like a Guitar. Niladri has created many compositions on it and released many successful albums.
Niladri Kumar gave his first public performance at Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry when he was just six years old. He has worked with Laxmikant Pyarelal in the late 1980’s and with various other music directors of Hindi cinema like Rahman, Pritam, and Shanker-Ehsaan-Loy etc.
Sangeet Natak Akademi has honoured him with Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar in March 2007. For his album If, Niladri has won the ‘MTV Immies Award’ for the Best Classical/Fusion Instrumental.
Nirmal Joshi (Courtesy: Wah Bharat)