Singer Sharda's Interview (Episode2)-Vividh Bharti

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Monday, January 4, 2010

English Translation of the Interview (Episode-2)

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-2 broadcast on 20 September 2009.

Younus Khan: Shardaji, we once again welcome you in the program “Ujaale Unki Yaadon Ke” of vividh bharti. I am just thinking which question to start with, this episode! We come to the year 1970. You had received Filmfare award, that was a very glorious moment!
Sharda: Glorious! Actually ‘titli udi’, this ‘titli udi’ received the same number of votes as that received by Rafi saheb for ‘bahaaron phool barsaao’. So Filmfare people said it was a tie, what to do? So they announced a special award and I received letter from Karanjia saheb that from that year two awards were being given – male playback & female playback. Since then, the award has been there.
Younus Khan: Good-good, after that you received the award!?
Sharda: Yes
Younus Khan: In the year 1970?
Sharda: Yes
Younus Khan: For the film ‘Jahaan Pyaar Mile’?
Sharda: Yes, 'Baat zara hai aapas ki’.
Younus Khan: Tell us something about that song.
Sharda: That too was a different type of song, in that it was required to sing after taking deep breath…..
Younus Khan: Which way? Please sing it for us!
Sharda: (sings) ‘Baat zara hai aapas ki, saari duniya ho gayi meri, bol main hoon kiski…’.
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Song: Baat zara hai aapas ki….. (Jahaan Pyaar Mile)
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Younus Khan: It was totally a different type of song and it deserved the award!
Sharda: Oh yes!
Younus Khan: How did you feel when you received that filmfare award on stage?
Sharda: Very good. I could not lift it when I took it for the first time! (Younus Khan laughs)
Younus Khan: From whom did you receive it?
Sharda: It was….. Dev Anand Saheb gave it.
Younus Khan: Oh… wonderful! I have heard that you have also sung on many occasions in the filmfare ward function?
Sharda: Yes
Younus Khan: So how was the response?
Sharda: Too much….. The public liked me too much. It is OK, few people in the industry did not like me, that is an internal matter. You know, they had some vengeance against me – I don’t know. But many people in general public liked me and if even one person liked me then it is a success to me. And I saw that so many people liked me and they still want to listen to me. But now I see that in new DVDs, all my songs are being removed - it's very disturbing you know. I have not sung many songs, I have‘sung very limited songs, even those they want to remove! I don’t know why they are doing this to me.
Younus Khan: You have also sung with Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh, Asha Bhonsle, Kishore Kumar and Yesudas!
Sharda: Mohammad Rafi, Mukeshji, Mahendra Kapoor, Manna Dey sahib, Yesudas and Suresh Wadkar – I have sung with all of them.

Younus Khan: It was considered difficult to sing with Kishore Kumar because he used to have peculiar mood, he used to be on a different track. Tell us, how did recordings go with Kishore Kumar?
Sharda: It used to be good also with Kishore Da. He was very supportive, used to treat me as a child. Voice was also such that it used to feel like very young, probably that rawness was liked by the people.
Younus Khan: Certainly-certainly. Today when you think about that period, how do you feel?
Sharda: Very nice. When everybody asks to tell how it used to be, it feels very nice.
Younus Khan: Now we will listen to one of your songs and then continue the chat. The song is from film Seema ‘Jab bhi ye dil udaas hota hai’.
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Song: Jab bhi ye dil udaas hota hai….. (Seema)
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Younus Khan: " Jab bhi ye dil udaas hota hai ", Rafi saheb was there…..
Sharda: Rafi saheb was there, I too was there.
Younus Khan: Where was it recorded?
Sharda: This was also in Famous (studio).
Younus Khan: Rehearsal was done for this too? How many retakes were there?
Sharda: In those days be it Rafi saheb or Mukeshji, I have heard that Lataji also used to do many rehearsals. Nobody used to go for recording withoud rehearsal. When I became music director then Rafi saheb used to come to my house to do rehearsals – can you imagine that? And before going for other recordings, he used to come to my place at 9 o’clock. So simple people were they!
Younus Khan: You have also done music direction, this is also one of your facets, you have given music for many films!
Sharda: Hmmmm, Maa Bahan Aur Biwi – ‘Achchha hi hua dil toot gaya’, this song came under one of the best songs.
Younus Khan: Very nice!
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Song: Achchha hi hua dil toot gaya….. (Maa Bahan Aur Biwi)
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Younus Khan: How difficult was it for you to become music director? Because you were a singer, and how much risk was involved?
Sharda: I used to think, pop songs did not use to be there in those days.
Younus Khan: You cut you album.
Sharda: Yes, I told HMV that there are only film songs, something other than film songs should also be done. Only bhajans and ghazals are done, light songs should also be made. Then they asked me to do one song. So I did one EP, there used to be EP in those days – of 4 songs. So I made one song along with 6-8 musicians. They liked it very much, then I did second and then third; I released 3 pop songs EPs. After listening to those songs, producers came to me wanting those type of songs because it is done in low budget. Those days Shankar-Jaikishan and other people used to keep huge orchestra which used to be very expensive and the producers with medium budget used to face lot of problems. So many producers with small budget came to me, I signed many films, many pictures also got released. After that industry also started passing through some bad phase and all that went away.
Younus Khan: It was a new thing to make pop songs in 1968!
Sharda: First time! Somebody wrote letter in ‘Life Magazine’ that pop songs had come to India for the first time. The letter appeared in that magazine.
Younus Khan: Great!
Sharda: It appeared in a magazine abroad.
Younus Khan: In how many languages you must have sung?
Sharda: I sang in marathi, Punjabi, gujarati, tamil, telugu, Malayalam.
Younus Khan: Great! We have listeners from south. In south, vividh bharati is listened very much. So please hum a tamil song for our south listeners.
Sharda: I don’t sing in tamil, I am composing now.
Younus Khan: Sing anything!
(Sharda sings a tamil song)
Younus Khan: I could not understand anything. What does it mean?
Sharda: These are Subramanyam Bharti’s lyrics.
Younus Khan: Oho!
Sharda: After achieving independence, happy song is being sung.
Younus Khan: Independence has been achieved, hence happy songs are being sung.
Sharda: Yes.
Younus Khan: Very nice. OK Shardaji, to keep your throat in good condition, what did you use to do? I have heard that singers have to take lot of care , and you were a unique type of singer!?
Sharda: In between, you know, I had stopped singing. There was some reason. Then I used to sit and hum a little. Then I did some research – how naval voice comes from, you see! How it should be controlled and how it should be modulated because there is entire ved on music – the entire thing has been explained in saamved.
Younus Khan: Absolutely.
Sharda:Then I programmed one program on voice maintenance, how voice culture should be done. The method of inhaling, the posture and how much voice power should be applied where, because the force of voice comes as much power you apply. If your mother is sitting here, you would call her in soft voice. If she is standing far, you would apply force. So taking entire voice control within, just like (aero)plane is flown, (areo)plane has to be controlled, same way I have done voice culture program. I also do it for my students, organize 2-3 days workshop and conduct online too. This is very important. Many people have sung but very few people are there whose songs you remember. But why do you r‘member? Because they touched the heart, touched the soul. It touches because your voice is cultivated. So after cultivating the voice, you sing anything, learn music by any means.
Younus Khan: You told very good things, particularly for our young listeners…
Sharda: This is good for anyone, you know! Because for talking too, it is essential to do voice culture. If you go for some meeting, some convention, you know your voice holds your personality. You impress people by your voice.
Younus Khan: Right.
Sharda: So for this reason, everybody should do voice culture.

Younus Khan: Now let us move towards a song. I can recall the song from film Gumnaam which is very popular. Will you hum it – ‘Jaan-e-chaman’?
Sharda:In ‘jaan-e-chaman’, I was singing with Rafi saheb for the first time. I told him, ‘Rafi saheb, I was your fan till yesterday and today I am standing with you to sing, how would I be able to sing?’ So (he) said, ‘No-no you sing very well.’ So at the time of rehearsal, he gave me ‘deeksha’. ‘Deeksha’ is not like regular teaching, it is like preaching, it is like a gemstone to be kept close to you always. In old days, teachers used to preach and disciples used to achieve after practicing. That is why it is called ‘siddhi’. That is why we call them ‘vidyaarthi’ – who understands after understanding the true meaning of ‘vidya’. So he said, ‘Sing after inhaling.’ So he inhaled and sang – (Sharda sings) ‘jaan-e-chaman shoal badan pehlu mein aa jaao’. So he was singing like this. I was singing lightly – (Sharda sings) ‘o mere dil, mere humdum, baanhon mein aa jaao’. If I too sing his way then (Sharda sings) ) ‘o mere dil, mere humdum, baanhon mein aa jaao’. So it is like singing with full power, this way.
Younus Khan: Very nice, very nice!
Sharda: This way his variance is!
Younus Khan: It’s excellent, the way you demonstrated, in a song where and how force is applied and how notes are followed.
Sharda: If you apply force the nyou can inject lot of feelings. If force is not there then it will be a monotonous mechanism. There will be monotonous tone and feeling in every song.
Younus Khan: You told us so much about this song that how Rafi saheb guided you, how you brought expressions, so why not we listen to this song!
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Song: Jaan-e-chaman shoal badan….. (Gumnaam)
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-------------------End of Episode-2--------------------
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