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Sharda Sinha: Folk music does wonders when used in films

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Padma Bhushan awardee Sharda Sinha says folk music and Bollywood cinema complement each other and when combined well together it turns into a successful formula. Sinha has given playback for films like Maine Pyar Kya, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and Gangs of Wasseypur.

“Scope of cinema is huge and lasting. It reaches billions of people through various mediums. When a film score has strong folk elements and if it clicks, then it can do wonders for the film. Filmein aur lok geet ek doosrey ke purak hai…commercially and popularity wise they can do well. Folk music too gets benefitted by film compositions and we have seen how beautifully late Madan Mohan used this factor in his songs. Folk music when used in films surely makes it an incredible piece,” says the folk singer on her visit to Lucknow.

Singer Sharda Sinha receiving Lok Nirmala Award from UP Governor Anandiben Patel in presence of Padma Shri Malini Awasthi at UPSNA in Lucknow. (Deepak Gupta/HT)

Sinha recalls, “My original Bhojpuri composition was so much liked by makers that composer Raamlaxman rearranged it in Bollywood style and Kahe tose sajna (MPK) and Babul ne (HAHK) did so well. Taar bijli se patle humare piya (GOW) is again a sanskaar geet and it too got lot of love and makes me feel extremely happy that today its part of most wedding celebration.”

The singer says she has been selective when taking up a film song. “I was in a government job. Then, I had a family, my academy in Bihar and I wanted to promote folk music and culture all across globe. Now my daughter and student Vandana Bharadwaj is carrying the tradition forward. Films also happened in between.”

Sinha recalls how her recording career started from Lucknow in 1971. “I was selected for my first recording song in Lucknow with legendary Begum Akhtar as a judge. HMV was hunting for young talent and the auditions were happening at Room no 11 at Burlington Hotel. Initially, I was disqualified but then I got a second chance to perform in front of the Mallika-a-Ghazal. She selected me and advised me to do lot of riyaz. It was a parampara-sanskar geet (Dwaar chikhai tradition in which sisters musically ask for money from the newly-wed) in Maithli that I had learnt from my bhabhi.”

Sinha has sung for several albums too which include sanskaar geet, ritu geet, vidyapati geet, geet-ghazals, dadra in Maithali, Hindi, Bangla, Nagpuri, Maghai and Bhojpuri. “It has been over 50 years so I have lost the count now. I started at the time of single records then we had LPs, audio cassettes, video cassettes, CDs, VCDs and then digital mediums.”

In the era when songs become viral overnight, she says, “It’s good that today we have such means that overnight people become a star but those who are without learning, training and riyaz too at times end up becoming one song wonders. In the long run, all these things matter and toughest thing is to maintain the stardom. To reach heights and stay at top you need a lot of patience besides training.”

Governor felicitates the singer

Governor Anandiben Patel felicitated folk singer and Padma Bhushan Sharda Sinha with Lok Nirmala Award at UP Sangeet Natak Academy on Wednesday. The award has been constituted by folk singer and Padma Shri Malini Awasthi in memory of her mother Nirmala Devi.

“In previous years the award has been conferred upon Tejan Bai and Gulabo Sapera. The award comprises 1 lakh cash and a citation,” tells Awasthi, founder of NGO Son Chiraiya.

The singer was introduced by poet and author Yatindra Mishra. Sinha mesmerised the audience with her folk songs Jai jai Bhairavi and Jagdamba Ghar Main. When she performed Patna se bayda bulayeda some women and folk artistes present on the occasion started dancing. The evening reached to its glory when she sung Taar biji se. The artistes also presented Chakurala Nritya and Baredi.

The Governor also felicitated winners of Amrit Mahosava which was held in online mode. The winners were Ramkumar Soni and Krishna Kumar Soni from Madhya Pradesh followed by Vedika Mishra from Panna. A large number of music lovers were present on the occasion.

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