Singer Sharda's Interview (Episode4)-Vividh Bharti

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Monday, January 4, 2010

English Translation of the Interview (Episode-4)

Sharda had made her grand debut in hindi film industry with the movie-Suraj, the music for which was composed by arguably the best and most popular ever MDs in HFM: Shankar - Jaikishan.
A series of her interviews on radio channel Vividh Bharti was broadcast under the program ‘Ujaale Unki Yaadon Ke’. Hindi transcript was posted on various blogs. However, after receiving overwhelming request from non-hindi speaking fans, all the interviews have been translated in English.
This is the translation of Episode-4 broadcast on 04 October 2009.

Younus Khan: Shardaji, you were telling that you teach complete voice culture, not only for day to day life but also to the professionals who want to become Younus Khan or who want to enter the field of voicing!?
Sharda: Yes, for voice as well as actually for the children. Like when children talk and become defective then they are not clearly understood. And if voice is like that, then the other person gets disgusted thinking – let it be! You know, he will get up and go. So you must keep so much…. in the voice that the listener likes it. And the voice should have a natural ringing sound. It must be soothing. If it is that way, there are increased chances of that person’s success. So for all this voice culure is essential. It is a different matter that for singers it is essential to do because through it they can perform well at any age.
Younus Khan: Do you feel that the younger generation has very little time to spare?
Sharda: Yes, that is why the workout I have done is very small. You don’t have to sit for hours together. I have given it in the form of two capsules. It is completed in two workshops and you can practice it anytime, anywhere. Any the music practice too you can do by reducing the time, that is even if you do it for 15 minutes, it would be OK. If you do it once in 203 days, that will also be OK. After voice culture, it doesn’t require to be done for so many hours. In old times they used to do for hours together for the entire life and just like knowledge dawned on Gautam Buddha, they used to attain knowledge. It’s not like that now, you get ready made knowledge now. Now I can provide guidance that how it can be extracted. How once shoud inhale…
Younus Khan: You told that music has a therapeutic use, medicinal use….
Sharda: Yes, because the music you do, you involve the nose, throat, naval. It activates each gland. The body has many glands. Like you say sound waves, you call it sound proof and you have made all sorts of arrangements here so that the waves don’t get broken. So the sound waves attack the body from inside, like when we hum then we activate the glands, the glands lying lazy, you know, which is sitting out of work. Then only the diseases appear. When we activate the glands then they start producing the medicines. The medicines are produced in the body itself. Like the medicines we have, they are produced in some body or the other, it is produced from animals’ bodies. Same way there are medicines in our bodies. That we get through Saamved or voice culture. Where did we get the music from in the old times? One day I was going there and a small group was passing by. There was a sound coming from it. I thought I had heard the sound somewhere, where it was! Then I remembered, we used to do it while chanting the Vedas (hums), this entire sound I heard there.
Younus Khan: Very nice!
Sharda: They have made music out of it. That is why we have so many rangas, there is lot of science behind which raga should be sung at what time of the day. Who are we to talk about it!
Younus Khan: Very nice, very nice! Shardaji, you have not told much about your childhood. You told how you arrived in Bombay from Tehran. The story prior to that…..
Sharda:Prior to that my childhood was so simple, what can I say! We used to play with clay, used to eat whateverthe parents used to give. Whatever little 2-3 clothes we used to have, we used to wear throughout the year. Then we used to get some more clothes during Diwali. That’s all. There used to be no pocket money or anything else. Whatever was there, they used to give. My grandfather used to teach me all these things, you know. From Upanishads to shlokas, ramayan etc. He used to perform pooja and we used to see. We used to make rangoli at home, we used to play dandiya etc. These were our only games.
Younus Khan: Which city do you belong to from Tamilnadu?
Sharda: Kumbhkonam in Tamilnadu. It is said that when there was holocaust, one of the kumbhas stayed in Allahabad and one in Kumbhkonam. So I was born in Kumbhkonam and we have a big area there.
Younus Khan: So your schooling was done there…..
Sharda: There only. After that we came to Chennai and after that, to Bombay.
Younus Khan: You told that you are a fan of Noorjahan.
Sharda: Oh, that of Noorjahan and Rafi saheb. I used to die listening to ‘yahaan badla vafaa ka’ because there wassn’t radio or anything to listen to. There was a tea shop behind our street and it used to be played there. I was eating one day, I left the food as it is and aran to the terrace to listen to it and came down only after listening to it completely. Mother asked what had happened to me. I just stood there with unwashed hands and came only after listening to it completely.
Younus Khan: So please sing that song for us.
Sharda: (sings) ‘yahaan badla vafaa ka bewafaai ke siva kya hai…’
Younus Khan: Very nice, very nice! Did you meet Noorjahan ever?
Sharda: I never got to meet Noorjahan .
Younus Khan: OK, apart from this, which other songs of Noorjahan do you like?
Sharda: (sings) "Aja meri barbaad mohabbat ke sahaar…’
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Song: Aja meri barbaad mohabbat ke sahaare….. (Film – Anmol Ghadi)
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Younus Khan: Very nice! That period belonged to radio. Records were not available too much!
Sharda: Yes, and when song used to be heard, we used to run and write it down. I could not understand well then, I could not speak hindi too.
Younus Khan: So you used to sing also these songs on radio and write in the diary.
Sharda: Ya.
Younus Khan: Very nice! OK, after you came from Tehran to Bombay, your audition was also completed in RK Studios, so a series of activities started. You also told the names of your music gurus, so while receiving training, how much hard work did you put and how much did they make you work hard?
Sharda: I used to work very hard. And particularly with Nirmala ji, she used to come from Virar, she used to live in Virar. We used to go to the station to receive her. After coming to my place, first she used to perform pooja, then she used to take some rest after taking tea and then used to train me. I did her full service this way. And after such service, I received (training/knowledge).
Younus Khan: How much training on classical music is required for entering the filed of music, be it film music or non-film music?
Sharda: Lit bit is essentially required, it is good to learn few ragas because all the songs are based on them, no? Younus Khan: Yes. Yo have song many important songs for Raj Kapoor’s films and your journey had started from there.
Sharda: He had made promise to make me sing for RK banner. He intended to fulfill it, so he took one song for ‘Kal Aaj Aur Kal’, there was one huge dream sequence song for Mera Naam Joker – it was done in three parts, lot of musicians had come, press had come from all over India, a huge song was recorded – its budget went in lakhs of rupees. And I was thinking when that song would be shot, when it would be shot. But it was not shot at all later on. And after that my songs used to be removed from films, I too got too much depressed. That is why I withdrew from the industry for a while.
Younus Khan: But the song of Kal Aaj Aur Kal…..
Sharda: (sings) "Kisi ke dil ko sanam leke yoon nahin jaate, hujoor aisa sitam karke yoon nahin jaate…..’
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Song: Kisi ke dil ko sanam (Film - Kal Aaj Aur Kal)
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Younus Khan: Please tell, your fans are there throughout the world, they are there and…..
Sharda: I get surprised that there are so many of my fans and I myself withdrew that if they don’t like me, I should withdraw. But now I am realizing that there are so many people who liked me and have remembered me and are still listening to me and I never expected it.
Younus Khan: What compliments do you receive, be it through mail or website?
Sharda: On website – enchanting voice. Day before yesterday I received a letter and there are so many people from Yoga Ashram – Yoga Saraswati, Yogendra – they said there is saraswati in my voice. And some college professor said listening to my songs is a soul stirring experience.
Younus Khan: Very nice. Do you feel that had these compliments been received when you needed them the most, when you were feeling that you did not have any place in the industry, you had withdrawn by choice!?
Sharda: Yes, I had withdrawn by choice then. I had garage full of fan mails, I removed them all – OK I should remove them, I don’t want to take, you know, anybody’s….. I have not come to take anyone’s genuine right. God has given something for me, whichever soul has come here, He has given something to it. I wanted to take whatever was due to me. So I removed all those things. Then I did not realize this much, I was silly and young too!
Younus Khan: (laughs) If you get chance to correct something then what would be the one thing that you would like to correct?
Sharda: Just told naa! That I shall sing and show how a song is sung. How life is infused into it, how it should be presented. I shall demonstrate through singing.
Younus Khan: Very nice! Now it is our turn to listen to your one more song.
Sharda: Another?
Younus Khan: Hmmmm. From film – Ek Naari Ek Brahmachari.
Sharda: (sings) "Aapke peechhe pad gayi main, dill eke main to jaaoongi…..’
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Song: Aapke peechhe pad gai main….. (Film – Ek Naari Ek Brahmachari)
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Sharda: See what kind of expression is there in it – that naughtiness, that fun. There is a soul point in every song. Like ‘titli’ in ‘titli udi’ – there is a soul in it. ‘Aapke peechhe pad gayi main’ , the soul should be understood this way. Taking the sould point into account, the song should be performed.
Younus Khan: You told about very nice aspect. OK, which songs have you sung with Yesudas?
Sharda: With Yesudas, I recorded one song in my film Kshitij, sang on classical base in it. Sand duet with him, (sings) ‘Dekho saajan churaae hai man, tera mera Milan…..’ that song was something like this.
Younus Khan: Very nice! You told that you entered the field of music direction. I think it must have been a big challenge for you, it must have been a big risk as well because the industry is completely male dominated, particularly music direction!?
Sharda: It was rather easy. Because music direction can’t be learnt. Composing can’t be learnt, it is an automatic God gift. As I used to compose, I kept on gaining knowledge in composing and I made Kishore Da, Rafi saheb, Manna Da, Mukeshji, Ashaji also sing. Ushaji too supported a lot. And these persons gave so much heartfelt support that I felt it very easy.
Younus Khan: So at this point, should we listen to a song composed by you but sung by someone else?
Sharda: Sure!
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Song: Dil mein jo aaya apun kiya….. (Film – Zamaan Se Poochho)
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------------------------------- End of Episode – 4 ------------------------
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