One is not needed to be reminded of the magic, old songs weave around us. Whether you are a youngster or someone who belongs to that age of music, you get connected to them. In an age of techno and trance, we often hear old songs dwelled into music of the new era, but the essence of the originality is beyond words. Creating a musical reverie, Mridula Desai performed songs from the golden era of music, at Stein Auditorium of Indian Habitat Centre, Delhi.
The audience was moved by her bold voice, her expressions and her talent of modulating the voice into style of other singers.SaiyyanDil Mein Aana re (Bahar (1951) sung by Shamshad Begum), Kabhi Aar Kabhi Par (Aar Par (1954), sung by Shamshad Begum), Teri Mehfil Mein KismatAazmaKar (Mughal-e-Aazam (1960), sung by Shamshad Begum and Lata Mangeshkar) are among few of the delightful songs Mridula Desai performed. Other than this, she also sang songs of other legends like Noor Jehan, Suraiya, Kanan Devi, Amir Bai Karnataki, Zohra Bai Ambalewali etc.
The show was compered by ManekPremchand, a film and music historian, who informed the audiences about the facts behind songs performed andalso about the movies they featured in. The chief guest of the show was senior BJP leader L.K Advani, who himself is an ardent admirer of old Bollywood songs. Before the event started, Mridula Desai was kind enough to have a brief chat with A.Kameshwari from One World News, who even witnessed the magic of her voice, later in the musical journey.
Talking about herself, Mridula Desai expresses that she was always in love with music and was keen to learn and make a career in it, which did happen but only post her marriage. “I come from an orthodox family. They loved music but were not supportive of taking it up as a career. It is only after I got married and shifted to Mumbai that I was encouraged by my in-laws and husband to go ahead and make a career in it. Whatever I am today, it is because of them”, says Ms. Desai.
She has performed at numerous eventsabroad and has also had an opportunity to perform at The Royal Albert Hall, London, in March 2005. Her performances were loved so much that she was again invited for the inaugural show at The Perth Concert Hall, Perth, Scotland, in 2005, where she performed in front of a non-Indian audience which included mostly Scottish and English people. Talking about this experience she said, “My experience has been wonderful and growing. Ever since I started, I never looked back. I am so glad that I have made a place for myself in my genre. Wherever I go, I am respected. I render my own way of singing and people love the style I put into any song.”
She further says that music, family, food and a good surrounding are among the few things that she cannot live without and while talking about music she went onto name few of her favorite artists – Noor Jehan, Suraiya, Kanan Devi, Amir Bai Karnataki, Zohra Bai Ambalewali and Shamshed Begum. Adding to it, she said that if she had to choose from the present lot of singers then she loves the voice quality of Sunidhi Chauhan and AlkaYagnik.
She says that she does not like modern music that much because they lack soul in them. “From my point of view, lyrics are most important. But these days music is made first and then lyrics are adjusted accordingly. Lyrics, depth, feelings are completely missing and present day’s music cannot be cherished forever like the music of 60’s-80’s and later can be. Only countable songs have soul in them, like Kailash Kher’s ‘Teri Deewani’ and some other Sufi songs as well.”
Mridula Desai has done playback for Bollywood movies and has been performing folk songs too, but since she has started performing live, she has moved herself away from the playback world. She stands as an example for the fact that an artist is not in need of money but for appreciation. “I love being on stage. Since, I am performing I have not looked for recording opportunities. The adulation you receive on spot when you perform live is incomparable”, says Mridula.
While ending the conversation, Mridula Desai stated that the city of Delhi does not have a history of love for olden songs, especially ticketed shows or public shows like these. “I want people to participate in such shows because in other parts of India people are very conscious of old songs and love to be a part of it. Everywhere else there are a lot of programs happening weekly. So, the message for readers is to promote this vintage music and know the magic and liveliness of it. I have seen youngsters getting hooked to it. Stop thinking that old music is for old people. Listen to it and know yourself. And for musicians and singers, I would say just go ahead and experiment.”
Picture Courtesy : A. Kameshwari, OneWorldNews
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