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Music and Dance Personalities
Bela Shende



Poonabest met up with Bela Shende to get an insight into her 'musical world'.


Bela ShendeWas 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 Date.
 
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 recently
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.

Bela ShendeCan 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



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