The Sufi singing has become the most popular in the current scenario. There are numerous Sufi singers with extraordinary melodious voice, who hails from various part of world try their luck in Bollywood. We have a pleasure to meet such a melodious Sufi singer, Sanghamitra Bharali.
Sanghamitra hails from a very distinguished family of Guwahati, Assam, India. She is the only child of an ardent and committed freedom fighter, a Gandhian, the ex-advisor of the ministry of mining, the ministry of human resource, the ministry of agriculture, a national award winner and profolic Hindi and Assamese writer of repute, Shri Loknath Bharali. He also had done research on Sant Kabir Das in the Banaras Hindu University.
Talking about Sanghamitra, ever since her childhood she was influenced by her father, who was a man of very clean principles. She has showed a keen interest in performing arts. Music has been her first love and was in her blood. Her mother, Nirala Bharali possessed a musical background and would sing and play violin and the organ. She had completed her M.A in Hindi and was the first musical teacher in Sanghamitra’s singing career. She then qualified her for a “Sangeet Nipun” (Master’s degree in Music) in Hindustani vocal music from Lucknow.
After completing her masters, Sanghamitra learned classical music from a very famous Guru of Agra-Autroli Gharana, Smt Kalpana Bhattacharya, in Kolkata.
After coming in Mumbai, she has been under the guidance of legendary vocalist, Vidushi Kishori Amonkar. In the course of time, the expositions of her inherent talents brought her many awards and recognitions for recitals in the state, the national and the international arena too. Sanghamitra Bharali is a singer having years of experience.
We got a chance to interview her; here are the sneak peeks of the interview:
FM: Sanghamitra ji, How you came to Mumbai?
Sanghamitra: It’s a long story on this. Actually I am from North East part of India. I was born and brought up in Shillong and my Dad was working into the central government and my Mom was a school teacher. When I was very small, my Mom inspired me to play harmonium and how to sing. A guru was kept for me to teach Indian classical Music. Thus, I was learning together with my studies. As my Dad was writer and freedom fighter, he taught me to sing devotional songs like Sant Kabir, Saint Tulsidas ji. Since my childhood I’m into devotional and classical music. As I am fond of western music also, I learned guitar for 3 months. When I was in college, I got married. I was always in the music and was thinking to come out of the town to get some exposure. Then after marriage and having a baby boy later, it was just impossible to come out from the family and the place (laughs). Then I decided to go for a job. Then for 10 years I was working with Assam Government, I was gazette Officer there. Also I was running an institution in my Mothers place as she wanted to do that. So I was teaching music also. I did Masters in Music in vocal from Lucknow. Then I was in dilemma what to do? What to do with my music, how to do? Where to go like? I was just disturbed.
Then what I did was big (laughs) I left my job and came to Mumbai just to learn new style of music. I got blessings from the legendary singer Kishori Amonkar didi, she is my Guru. At that time I focused only on classical music and ways to improve my vocals and quality of singing. I also played guitar. One thing, I never go to anybody to ask ,”give me a job” like that, that’s why may be I am backward. But I was happy; I was teaching students and doing riaz. I am settled here in Mumbai now with my son who is 26 years old now. Now I would love to go for Bollywood. (Laughs) it’s too late but I still have a hope to sing in films.
FM: Having a Family, leaving a job, so much of weight, what helps you to be so much of strong?
Sanghamitra: Actually I have a strong faith in that supreme power. Everybody has a time, I hope I have a good time and everybody is planned for me by that Almighty. The Bollywood music directors and composers are doing awesome job but it was my unluck that I didn’t go to anybody. But I have a hope that if I was given a chance I will do my best and almighty is with me.
FM: How do you compare and feel about Sufi Songs?
Sanghamitra: Sufiyaana sangeet comes from Iran. It is all about devotional songs. It is based on classical and folk music.
FM: Do you like Bollywood Music? What are your views on today’s Bollywood music?
Sanghamitra: It’s Awesome! Bollywood composers are making awesome compositions. Nowadays the music is different, they are more westernized. Music is universal. I like all types of music and I worship it.
FM: Who is your favorite composer in Bollywood?
Sanghamitra: Yes, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Sahab is my favorite composer.
FM: What are your future Plans?
Sanghamitra: I was composing music during school days, I do today also, let’s see if people like this or not. Also I am doing some devotional and Sufiyaana shows also.
FM: What is your message to newbies, dreamers?
Sanghamitra: Everyone is a dreamer here, so we should not leave the track at any cost.