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Heeya Conversations - Edition 1 with Guru Chandrima Sanyal Dutta

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The Guru and her melodious journey

A little girl, the first born of her doting parents, is gifted with a magical voice, an innate sense of sur (tune) and taal (beat). Her father, a brilliant man with an incredible love for music and her disciplinarian mother recognise this talent and set about in giving her the best musical environment to nourish her talent.

 

The child is also gifted academically. A first rank holder in her class. Thus, she is both musically and academically gifted. The child is also very diligent - waking up at 5 every morning along with her sisters, under the supervision of their mother, to do the daily riyaz before heading to school. Come rain or shine, this rigorous schedule and the tutelage of the best Gurus in the cities that their father is posted to, goes on to make an indelible mark on this brilliant student. 

And then life happens and with it musical training. The student receives training under Pandit Mahadev Prasad Mishra of Banaras Gharana and under Pt L K Pandit of Gwalior Gharana.

She continues to shine academically and moves to study in one of the most reputed colleges in India, Lady Shriram College, Delhi. She enthralls her peers and seniors alike with her melodious singing. She performs in many shows and wins many awards. 

And then her calling happens. As she prepares for one of the most prestigious Management entrance examinations, she realizes that her true love in life is music. 

With the voice of a nightingale, she turns her back on a  conventional career, starts her new journey to discover divinity through music.

From the Mecca of music, Varanasi through the hallways of Lady Shriram College, Delhi, she reaches the Grand finals of the iconic show Meri Awaaz Suno, Mumbai, in 1998.

The show Meri Awaaz Suno, was the first music reality television show in the country, and its first episode was released in the year 1996. The contestants for the show was auditioned all over the country to get the best raw talent for the show who can be nurtured into professional ones. The show was produced jointly by Doordarshan, Lata Mangeshkar and Yash Chopra's enterprise Metavision. Ms Sanyal Dutta was one of the winners at this prestigious event and was awarded by stalwarts - viz Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pt Shivkumar Sharma, Lata Mangeshkar and Begum Parveen Sultana

This marked a significant turn in Ms Sanyal Dutta's life. It was a calling that she went on to take forward with even more determination and more training.

From this hallowed stage to the various other prominent stages across India and abroad performing with some of the greatest musicians to teaching music full time,  it has been long and beautiful journey of one’s calling. How often is one fortunate to recognize it early? One does, if one is self aware and true to themselves.

And then came the calling to impart music training to others, in the most pure way possible, as per the Guru Shishya parampara that has transcended time in this glorious country of ours.

Guru Chandrima Sanyal Dutta

 

And today, Guru Chandrima Sanyal Dutta’s Harmony School of Music is one of the most sought after music schools in Bangalore, which imparts Hindustani Classical Music with affiliations to the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya and the Bangiya Sangeet Parishad and also Keyboard classes with affiliations to the Trinity School of Music, London.


Students of Harmony Music School perform at the Annual Day event 2017 and 2019 respectively


About 90 students, across all age groups from 5 to 50, throng the Music classes every day of the week, each individually trained and groomed by Mrs. Chandrima Sanyal Dutta. One of the highlights of her classes is the ample opportunities that the students get to showcase their musical talents in – be it a community gathering, a neighborhood Music festival, reputed Music organizers or Television channels who air the music renditions at prime time. This not only improves the musical talents of the students but also equips them with important life skills such as hard work, commitment, teamwork, and discipline.


Students performing on a Television Music show, Sanchari Mahotsav
Students performing at a Community event
Audience enjoying a Musical performance
A glimpse of Annual Day 2019
The Annual day is one such event where the students put their best performances in a public venue and enthral the audience with the learning received from their Guru. The 9th edition of this day is on 8th February, Saturday at the Indiranagar Sangeetha Sabha, Indiranagar. A snap shot of the evening is as below:
Seasonal Raags and Seasonal forms are important features of Hindustani Classical Music. Spring and monsoon seasons signify nature rejuvenating itself from the harshness of winter and the oppressive heat of summer.
Therefore some of the most popular seasonal raags and semi-classical forms like Hori, Jhoola, Kajri are associated with Spring and Monsoon. 'Barkha Bahaar' is an effort to throw some light on and create awareness about this beautiful aspect of Hindustani classical music.
Date : 8th February
Time :5.30 pm
Venue : Indira Nagar Sangeetha Sabha.
Entry is free


A brief tete-a-tete with ms Chandrima Sanyal Dutta on her thoughts, interests and hobbies. Jonali Saikia (JS) of Heeya chats up with the musician and Guru

JS:   What is the inspiration behind the Barkha/Bahaar theme of your Annual day?

CSD: Hindustani classical music has some unique aspects like the Samay Chakra, and season based Raags and sub- genres. Each season has its own beauty which is conveyed through the nuances of swars. Barkha -Bahaar is an effort to throw some light on, and create awareness about this beautiful aspect of Hindustani classical music.

JS: Why do you think classical music training is important for any aspiring musician ?

CSD: Classical music training is important for learning the correct techniques, the nuances and emotions, the theory and thus develop a strong foundation in the subject. When the basics are in place, the artist can explore and create good quality music

JS: What is the importance of the Guru shishya parampara in learning classical music?

CSD: Guru Shishya parampara is our traditional  way of passing on our rich musical heritage from one generation to the next. The Shishyas learn much more than music from the Guru: they learn discipline, respect for the art and senior artists. They learn the importance of perseverance /sustained effort which is required to become a good artist.

 

JS: In this age of social media, myriad choices and short attention spans, why is learning an art form so important for children ( and adults)?

CSD: Art forms are food for the soul. In addition to the constructive use of time, they help to develop focus and concentration. Art forms stir the emotions,and once learned, they remain a friend for life, providing solace from the monotony and the daily struggle of life.

 

JS: What are some of your other interests?

CSD: I like to watch Sports. Sports is also all about sustained effort and strong willpower.I also watch good English , Bangla and Hindi movies. I have great respect for traditional arts and weaves. I try and acquire different weaves from different places as also support the cause of the artisans. I also love animals, one of my pet wishes is to adopt a dog someday

Ms Sanyal Dutta is an ardent handloom supporter- here she is wearing a  saree made by women weavers of Assam

4 comments

  • Heeya: February 17, 2020

    Thank you everyone!

  • Shalini: February 11, 2020

    Really appreciated She is great music Guru 👏👏

  • Shraddha Bahirwani: February 11, 2020

    What an awesome way of celebrating Guruma !!!
    We’ll written and expressed!

  • Pooja Rao: February 11, 2020

    Everyone is born with some talent but it takes a special kind of passion, dedication and discipline to hone it, nurture it and raise it to the highest level. Chandrima has done all of it! Take a bow!

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