Asian Heritage Month-CFACI | Virtual Museum of Asian Canadian Cultural Heritage (VMACCH)

Hasheel Lodhia

Hasheel Lodhia

Arts & Expression, South Asian, Music

Under the guidance of his mom and dad, Hasheel learned the basics in East Indian Classical Vocal when he was age five. Since he was nine years old, he has been training in under Shri Narendra Datar.

Hasheel also started playing the bansuri under the guidance of Jitendra Sharma at Vishnu Mandir and the Western flute at school. He quickly excelled in the field of Western music and started composing and writing his own orchestral music at the age of 13.

Hasheel is an active part of the Vishnu Mandir Community. He has been highly encouraged by Dr. Budhendra Doobay and has been given countless opportunities both during temple service and on television to perform. He has been interviewed on the Asian Television Network as well as the radio about his career in classical Indian music.

Hasheel has sung and performed in many concerts in Toronto but the highlight of his performances was when had the privilege to sing with Shri Anup Jalota at his concert held at the Vishnu Temple.

Hasheel pursued this musical career by taking a gap year after graduating from high school and living in India. For seven months, he studied vocal under Shri Padmaja Joglekar and had the privilege of studying bansuri under the legendary Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. He then took the opportunity to go to Gujarat and volunteer at the Hanumant Hospital in Mahuva for three months. His experiences in India have shaped his character and broadened his mind and he encourages others to pursue their interest in cultural arts.

Hasheel’s dad, Chandrakant (Chuck) Lodhia, and mom, Roopa Lodhia, were born in South Africa. Chuck arrived in Canada in 1971 and Roopa in 1981. Hasheel has two older brothers, Kunal and Rishaal, who grew up in Canada as well and have also learnt to play the tabla during their schooling years.

Both Chuck and Roopa grew up in South Africa in a society quite rich in Hindu culture and traditions. Their passion for East Indian music, art and dance was well embedded before their arrival in Canada.

The biggest drawback in coming from South Africa was that even though the mother tongues of Gujarati and Hindi were taught at school, English was predominantly spoken at home, hence the children are limited in their fluency with respect to Hindi and Gujarati.

This limitation, however, did not prevent the children from learning their religion, culture, music and art. Credit can be given to many factors but, most important, the following are some of the reasons why they maintained a sense of pride and security about their heritage and culture.

  1. Establishment of institutions and Temples such as the Vishnu Temple, which allowed the children to learn religion, music and art through the medium of English.
  2. Encouragement by the schools to embrace all cultures and traditions. The children were given the opportunities to perform their cultural music, which gave them confidence and gained peer respect.
  3. Settlement of some of the finest musical teachers from India in Toronto with whom the children were fortunate to learn from.
  4. Parents’ participation and influence as role models. Both Roopa and Chuck have been fortunate to volunteer some of their time to numerous organizations involved in the growth and preservation of Hindu values and traditions.

In summary, both Chuck and Roopa feel proud to be living in Canada where they have the freedom and encouragement to share their heritage while merging with the rest of society.

The Virtual Museum of Asian Canadian Cultural Heritage (VMAACH) was made possible with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy.