Poonabest met up with Bela Shende to get an insight
into her 'musical world'.
singing your hobby or did you made a conscious
decision to make a career out of it?
Basically, singing runs in the family and has
been practised since the days of my great grandmother.
I never considered it a hobby and by the age of
six had made up my mind to pursue it with earnestness.
Whom all have you trained under?
I took my initial training in music from my grandmother
Mrs. Kusum Shende, a well-known stage actress
and singer of the "Kirana Gharana".
I trained in light classical music under my father,
Dr.Sanjeev Shende. I am also taking special classes
for Urdu and Marathi ghazals under Shri. Ravi
How does one decide to specialise in a particular
form of singing like classical, semi classical
or light music? What is your area of specialisation?
Specialisation in a particular form of singing
depends to a large extent, on the type of voice
one has. However, one should
acquire knowledge in classical music, as it is
the basis for any form of singing. I specialize
in light music.
You were the winner of the TVS 'Sa Re Ga
Ma', Mega Final - 1998 tell us about it?
It was a thrilling experience. The competition
was extremely tough. We had participants from
all over the country; all the participants were
absolutely talented and had acquired proper training.
I will always cherish fond memories of the event.
Tell us about your achievements and the
music albums that you have released?
Besides the TVS 'Sa Re Ga Ma', Mega Final in
1998, IMI Zee Sangeet Awards adjudged me as the
'Best Debut Singer' for my album 'Kaisa
Yeh Jadoo' for the year 1999-2000. I was also
awarded the 'Pune Ki Asha Award'. I have only
released a Marathi album 'Majhya Mana'.
Where all have you performed? Do you have
any exclusive programmes to your credit?
I went on a 3 months tour to USA & Canada
at the invitation of Brihan Maharashtra Mandal,
North America. I have performed with Hariharan
in Dubai and Sonu Nigam in Belgium. I also give
solo performances under the aegis, 'Bela ke Phool',
a programme totally dedicated to Hindi songs and
'Gandh Mogryacha' dedicated to Marathi songs.
you tell us about your most memorable incident
when performing abroad?
I recollect an incident that took place when
I was performing in Houston. On the first day
I had to give a performance of Urdu Ghazals and
the next day I had to render Marathi songs. I
noticed that people
who attended my programme of Urdu Ghazals were
also present to listen to my rendition of Marathi
songs. The reply I got on asking them how they
were present on both days warmed my heart. "We
just understand the language of music, and music
has no barriers." Their simple reply
touched me a great deal and goes to show that
the barriers made by human beings cannot stop
any kind of art and art form.
There are a lot of remixes that are coming
into the Marathi music industry, what do you have
to say about it?
Remixes have come to stay and they will continue
to be floated. However, good, pure music will
continue to hold its own and survive. I, on principle,
will not be indulging in remixes. The Marathi
music industry has attained legendary status and
the upcoming artists; music directors of the industry
will not allow it to lose its position of dominance.
And we are sure Bela Shinde will hold an enviable
position in the world of music too.
Interview by: Prasad Hiranwar
Photo Courtesy: Bela Shende