- Melbourne batsman Eshan Lakhani was diagnosed with developmental delay aged two.
- The 12-year-old musician has performed on stage with many top international artists.
- Eshan’s family is grateful to Australia for providing a nurturing environment.
Eshan first came to public attention when, aged just nine, he performed at a concert by famed Pakistani singer Atif Aslam in Melbourne in 2018.
While his musical rise has been rapid, his journey has not been without obstacles.
When Eshan was two years old, he was diagnosed with ADHD and developmental delay. It was around the same time that he first picked up a pair of chopsticks.
“Music makes me happy, it excites me,” Eshan told SBS Urdu, explaining that he enjoys playing rock, funk, jazz and hip hop songs.
Now 12, Eshan boasts over 70,000 Facebook followers and shares the stage with stars like famous Indian singer Karan Ajula.
Eshan’s mother, Erum Ali, who works as a registered nurse, says her neurodivergence was evident early on.
“We knew Eshan was different when he was born. And we helped and supported him in every way we could to achieve his dreams,” she says.
“He showed an interest in the drums from an early age and his love for it grew over time.”
Eshan’s passion took him to the streets, with Melbourne City Council granting him a premium bus license.
He performs regularly in the CBD under the gaze of a grateful crowd.
Erum says she is grateful to Australian society for providing an environment for children like Eshan to learn, grow and pursue their passions.
“Although there are people in society who will put you off, this beautiful society has helped make Eshan what it is today,” she adds.
Melbourne batsman Eshan Lakhani was diagnosed with developmental delay aged two. Source: Facebook / Eshan Lakhani
Eshan represented Australia in 2018 at the Jubilee Arts Festival in Portugal and has also performed with many artists here in Australia.
His mother says Eshan thrives in front of large crowds, while others might wither.
“He’s performed in front of thousands of people, like at Margaret Court Arena in 2018 or Festival Hall in 2022. The bigger the crowd, the bigger the confidence,” says Erum.
Father Imran Lakhani says he is proud of his son and his musical ability goes beyond his years.
“Eshan is 12 right now, but his musical taste and knowledge is beyond that of a 24-year-old adult,” he says.
You never know what your child can do with their skills. It all depends on the effort and love you put into raising them.
Imran Lakhani, Eshan’s father
Eshan, whose favorite singer is Guy Sebastian, aims to one day perform with Ed Sheeran and BTS.
“My short-term plan is to perform on Australia’s Got Talent,” he adds.
Eshan has performed with Abrar ul Haq, Atif Aslam, Karan Aujla, Jimmy Shergill and Govinda among others and appeared at SalamFest in Melbourne.