'Music is an endless journey'
November 17, 2001
Chandigarh: 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.

Sunanda says 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."

Her advice 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."

Sunanda also 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 my riyaaz."