Mohaiminul Haque Khan feels comfortable in calling himself Pagla Mohai. During an informal conversation session, he talks about his view of god, soul and essence of life; and how he views his artistic endeavours. Saqueb Sartaz Khan takes the interview for New Age Youth.
New Age: Would you share the story of your journey with music?
MHK: My journey with music actually started at a very early age. I grew up playing Tabla and Harmonium, that I have had found at home as toys; not musical instruments. When I was five years old, I got severely sick and was stuck at home for a long time. To cheer me up, my parents asked me what it was that I want to do. And I wanted a keyboard, the playing kind. It was a Casio; 3 or 4 octave maybe. It was great fun. I played with all kinds of tones and made all kinds of sounds and tried to compose my own pieces.
That reminds me of the late 90’s when Nokia 1100 phones were the norm, a phone where we could compose this and that; and later feel pleased about our composed ringtones. I’ve never had a conventional teacher. It was just me wandering alone with occasional wisdom and lessons learnt from random people.
New Age: But it opened a new dimension for you, right?
MHK: It did. And then it struck to me that all these bands I’ve grown up listening to covering songs, they were essentially doing the same thing. It was kind of disillusionment. I understood that it wasn’t an impossibility to be able to shine through the art of music and was not constricted to a special few; but rather an intricate, gradual process.
New Age: Is there anyone special who inspired in your artistic endeavours?
MHK: Yes, that person would be Yamen sir. He made me understand something. God is the epitome of perfection. Whatever you do, a scientist doing his experiment, or a musician doing their music, whatever you do, when you're doing it perfectly you're closer to God. I'm not saying, I am an atheist or I don't believe in a higher power, but as long as I'm playing, I feel closer to god.
He used to be my physics tutor, he once told me that god is the epitome of the final frontier of perfection. When you play or paint, do you feel an essence of immortality, just then? I find meaning when I'm creating something. God exists in me during my creative process. If I do it right, energy can’t be created or destroyed. My wave form goes into audio waves. So I live on through audio waves. That's like technical immortality.
New Age: What is your Mantra?
MHK: Knowledge. The more I know, the more I have in my arsenal. I seem to have an insatiable thirst for gaining knowledge or insight about anything that crosses my path..
New Age: How do you want to leave your legacy through your music? What keeps you going?
MHK: Not just legacy, my whole existence. Speaking of Salvatore Dali, Picasso, Da Vinci, Mozart, they all survived through their artistic masterpieces. When you incorporate art into your life, life becomes art. So this deep driving desire to rise to the pinnacle of immortality of your existential essence through integral art-- is what keeps me going. I needn't be known for music in particular. Whatever art form or discipline my masterpiece belongs to doesn't matter. What matters is that the totality of all that I'm doing culminates into my existence. I fail to grasp that this life is temporary.
New Age: How do you perceive art and creative process? What does it mean to be an artist?
MHK: If you look hard enough, you'll find god. I don't think even the worst sinners have their connections with god severed. When god has given you the power of creation and a soul thriving for a higher purpose in contrast to the entire human constructs that I'd say are rather flawed. Time is a musician's canvas. A painter draws on canvas; whereas as it comes down to music, I play with time as my dimension. Now see, a painter's medium is their pen or pencil or yet paint, while a musician's medium is essentially the instrument they are playing or their vocal cord. As a multi-dimensional artist, I see that the medium merely changes but the framework and the art itself remains more or less uniform. I had gone through a phase where I listened to nothing but live music. No playback songs. When you have the power of creation, you get drunk with power. There's nothing you can’t do.
Saqueb Sartaz Khan is searching for light and an intern with New Age Youth.
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