Sharda resonates in folk style

SHE IS known as Lata Mangeshkar of folk songs. She has carved a niche for herself despite several social hiccups. Padmashree Sharda Sinha feels that folk songs have an age-old bonding with the different stages of human life.

india Updated: Mar 23, 2006 14:24 IST

SHE IS known as Lata Mangeshkar of folk songs. She has carved a niche for herself despite several social hiccups. Padmashree Sharda Sinha feels that folk songs have an age-old bonding with the different stages of human life.

“Be it a wedding or the birth of a child, folk songs always form an integral part of family celebrations”, she shared with Hindustan Times.

Shardaji was in Bhopal to perform at the Vidhan Sabha auditorium on Wednesday evening. She has recently been honoured with the National Ahilya Devi Award by the Madhya Pradesh government.

She has rendered her voice to several Bhojpuri films and serials. Her voice resonated in the Hindi film ‘ Maine Pyar Kiya’ and ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun’. Moreover, she has composed several songs which have a traditional base.

Folk songs have been hits in many movies, like the recent ‘Holi Khele Raghubira Awadh Mein’ in ‘Baaghbaan’. “The folk songs have undergone a change in style but the basic format has not been tampered with,” she expressed, and added, “There is no harm in infusing an element of modernity in the original notes but certainly not at the cost of sullying the traditional purity.”

“ The children have the song ‘Kajra re Kajra’ on their lips, but they don’t understand the fundamentals of folk songs. They are just being subjected to fast-track songs or re-mixes,” Shardaji lamented.

Observing that folk songs always constituted a vital part of the Indian culture, she said, “In this era of fast-paced technology, the sweetness and mellifluous nature of ‘Viraha Geet’ (separation or parting songs) have disappeared.”

“Folk songs reflect different themes including happiness, the moods of various seasons, marriage, Devi, Jhoomar, Kajri, Chaiti and Sohar all of which have a pivotal link with Indian tradition,” she said, maintaining, “Despite several double- meaning songs being churned out today, the basic ingredient remains the same.”

Shardaji said that she took up music at a time when it was not really socially acceptable. “My father however understood my passion and allowed me to break the social norms.”

The best part of folk songs is that they are simple and can be easily deciphered. “While in classical music one must know the grammar for appreciating it, folk songs can be enjoyed even without knowing the fundamentals of music,” she expressed.

First Published: Mar 23, 2006 14:24 IST