A disciple of Padma Bhushan Girja Devi of the Banaras Gharana,
Sunanda Sharma was in the city on Friday to perform at Planet
M. She began learning classical and semi-classical music from
her guru in 1991. A gold medalist from Punjab University,
Sunanda is the proud of recipient of the 'Outstanding Young
Persons Award' instituted by Indian Junior Chambers, Chandigarh.
At Planet M,
Sunanda regaled the audience with a khayal in Raga Megh,
Jeeya more tarpaaiye and a tappa, O meeyan ve jaane waale.
her first guru is "my musician father, Sudarshan Sharma
under whose training I developed an inclination towards
the Banaras gharana and he was the one who prompted me to
go to Banaras and learn music from Girija Deviji."
A firm believer
in the guru-shishya parampara, Sunanda says, "You can only
learn music when you breathe it all the time. I lived with
my guru at her home for eight years and thus was surrounded
by music all the time. I was continuously learning. The
education never stopped. It's just like in a family where
the children learn so much only by observing their parents;
so is it with music which you cannot learn in an university."
She is pretty
optimistic about the classical scene in the country and
says, "Many kinds of music come and go but classical has
always remained and would continue to thrive because this
is the purest form of music which has strong links with
one's roots. It's just like with good literature and poetry
which have tremendous quality and would thus find its audience
somehow or the other." Continuing in the same vein, she
says, "Even if two people listen to us, our purpose is fulfilled."
to aspiring classical singers is that, "Experimentation
is good but quality is matchless. There is name, fame, money
and glory in classical singing too, though not as instant
as in pop culture. However, performers should not enter
the field just with the thought of getting famous but should
be prepared to be fully dedicated and committed to their
music, then the fruits would surely follow."
teaches and is a visiting professor at London University.
Well versed in khayal, tappa and dadra, Sunanda says, "My
journey of music, which is endless and to keep on doing