Sharda had made her grand debut in hindi film industry with the movie-Suraj, the music for which was composed by arguably the best and most popular ever MDs in HFM: Shankar - Jaikishan.
A series of her interviews on radio channel Vividh Bharti was broadcast under the program ‘Ujaale Unki Yaadon Ke’. Hindi transcript was posted on various blogs. However, after receiving overwhelming request from non-hindi speaking fans, all the interviews have been translated in English. This is the translation of Episode-5 broadcast on 11 October 2009.
Younus Khan: OK, you told that you are making songs for small kids and as per their age category…..
Sharda: As per that and I forgot to mention one thing that I am giving a track for them so that they can learn and perform with the track.
Younus Khan: Very nice!
Sharda: There should be something creative naa that bring out your voice, do something!
Younus Khan: These days there is real shortage of songs for children .
Sharda: Oh, I am observing this only in India. All over the world, children’s songs are the same in number as the songs for elders. But here there is nothing for the children. The way children copy the elders – you know, you are depriving them of their childhood. If you throw them into youth during childhood then during youth, you would throw them into old age, no?
Younus Khan: Yes-yes.
Sharda: Because you are throwing them in young age, childhood is gone and they will start experiencing old age during young age. That means there lives will be spoilt, no?
Younus Khan: What would you like to tell the parents of such small children who are interested in music but don't have children's songs, who sing elders' songs.....
Sharda: That is the point naa! There should be special programs for this, there should be presentations for childrens’ songs. Today’s kids are very smart, very intelligent. Music should be provided to them as per their intelligence. And there should be special music shows of children just like the elders. There is nothing by the children anywhere – only games are held, that’s it! Nothing is being done on music front. All that should be there. Nobody is bothered about these things. And despite having such wonderful artists, we call them from outside, they don’t care for us. This is done only here, it doesn’t happen anywhere else. I went to America and observed all are open hearted, you know! They don’t understand, yet come to listen. It is so nice. So I translated all my songs into English and I am going to perform in English for the USA audience. Recently I have done English version for this song ‘jaane bhi de sanam mujhe…..’.
Younus Khan: Oh, very nice! Do you remember it?
Younus Khan: Then please sing for us.
Sharda: (sings) "Love at first sight, love at every sight, at every sight, I live you more and more everyday and night with heartfelt delight….. Jaane bhi de sanam mujhe abhi jaane-jaane-jaane de…..”
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Song: Jaane bhi de sanam mujhe….. (Film – Around The World)
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Younus Khan: Very nice! It must have been very difficult?
Sharda: Yes, I composed it yesterday. Just thought that if Americans want it then why should it not be done! So this way children should also do all this.
Younus Khan: You have made lot of songs for children. One you had sung for us, we would like to listen to one more.
Sharda: (sings) ‘Mister Ricky ha-ha, with his topi ha-ha, in the morning ha-ha, when he got up ha-ha, there was nothing ha-ha, in his kitchen ha-ha…..’
Younus Khan: Very nice, very nice. You said there is soul somewhere in every song, a soul point is there. So for children, what special care needs to be taken as to which word may be cathchy for them?
Sharda: Yes, it is ‘ha-ha’ in this (Younus Khan laughs).
Younus Khan: OK, while singing this song, you must be remembering your childhood very much!?
Sharda: There weren’t special songs for children during our childhood but some smaal-small songs in music itself. In carnatik music, there are some ‘varnas’, some small-small songs like geet mala that used to be taught to us.
Younus Khan: Do you remember anything now?
Sharda (sings in carnatik music) ‘……….’ – this way!
Younus Khan: Very nice! Really enjoyed listening to these two songs and knowing that you make special efforts for children and are preparing songs for them.
Sharda: If we don’t do then nobody else is doing it. I will be gone tomorrow, nobody will do it, what can I do? I think that way, that is why I am doing. It is not like that I have to earn a lot of money or name from this. God has given me all this. Like the saints have given us many things, why did God give it to you? So that you give it to everybody. So I think it is my duty to do it.
Younus Khan: Really nice to know.
Sharda: I didn’t make any palace out of this film industry. I can not afford to give all these things, you know – that make a video, this, that, appear in TV, spend on publicity. I can not do it. I can do whatever I can do. If God has given, it is being done.
Younus Khan: So you are making all the efforts form your side.
Sharda: Yes, if I could not sing now, I would have left it. I can’t stop singing. If it is there, what can I do!?
Younus Khan: Yes. I am asking this question with a lot of hesitation, how have you maintained your voice till now!?
Sharda: (laughs) This is what I am doing, I told naa! I am doing voice culture. Breathing, posture and voice power control. Keep these three things in mind and maintain them, that's all. A little bit of 'riyaaz' and you come to know - you know your body better. Wit‘ whatever force you sing the song, like I sang just now (sings) ‘jaane bhi de sanam mujhe…..’. If control is not there then how I make it soft? Isn’t it?
Younus Khan: Yes
Sharda: Isn’t it! Otherwide it will be there in the same tone. So keeping it in control, (sings) ‘jaane-jaane-jaane de…..’.
Younus Khan: Absolutely!
Sharda: And as I said about doing in soft voice, in America, people say that only I do it, nobody else does it. Others sing in just one tone.
Younus Khan: Yes, that’s right, that’s right! Actually it is that way – there is less understanding about music. Sharda: People speak that way – if we go to America this way, they will throw it away; they won’t take it! That is why Indian songs don’t go outside. It goes from all over the world – Arabian music goes, Spanish music goes.
Younus Khan: Shardaji, you had told that Noorjahan is your favourite.
Younus Khan: And there are many songs of Noorjahan that go into your head. Please tell something about favourite songs of Noorjahan. Film and non-film.
Sharda: They are uncountable. I like all of her songs. Like (sings) ‘Mujhse pahle si muhabbat mere mehboob na maang…..’
Younus Khan: Very nice. This is of Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
Sharda: Hmmmm. And the other ‘tum bhi bhulaa do…..’ I like this song so much. I tried really hard to sing the song but am still not able to understand how that expression will come. I did lot of research but still I am not able to understand. In that (sings) ‘tum bhi bhulaa do, main bhi bhulaa doon, pyaar puraane guzre zamaane…..’
Younus Khan: Very nice!
Sharda: She has put very nice expressions in it, which is not getting repeated again.
Younus Khan: In Noorjahan’s voice, we can call it there is the fragrance of our soil, native…..
Sharda: There is ‘khanak’, very beautiful.
Younus Khan: Had she lived in our country!?
Sharda: It would have been very nice.
Younus Khan: But as far as I remember, there too – Ustad Nazar Hussain, he made lot of songs for Noorjahan!
Sharda: Yes, but it was altogether different matter here.
Younus Khan: Yes-yes. Which of her other film songs can you recall now?
Sharda: (sings) "Jigar ki aag se is dil ko jalta dekhte jaao, mitti sama jaati hai armaanon ki duniya dekhte jaao…..’
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Song: Jigar ki is aag se is dil ko….. (Film – Dupatta)
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Younus Khan: You meticulously analyze each and every thing. Please tell, what are the aspects og Noorjahan’s singing that become very important?
Sharda: I analysed it a lot. The way she sings from within – she does not show that I can sing this song so well or I can take these twists and turns or see, my voice is so beautiful here, or I can reach upto this level. No! She just sings from her heart.
Younus Khan: This is very important that she doesn’t want to boast about her talent. She sings form the heart, not from the brain.
Sharda: That’s it!
Younus Khan: Very nice! It could be a very important thing for today’s singers. Any other songs can you recall of Noorjahan’s?
Sharda: I can recall many songs, which all should I sing? (laughs)
Younus Khan: Just keep on mentioning them.
Sharda: (sings) ‘kis tarah bhoolega dil unka khayaal aaya hua, jaa nahin sakta kabhi sheeshe mein baal aaya hua…..’
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Song: Kis tarah bhoolega dil….. (Film – Village Girl)
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Younus Khan: Very nice! These songs are more than 50 years old but why do they seem still young?
Sharda: Seem young because the songs themselves are young. They don’t age. Just like they say that soul doesn’t have any age, these have soul which is why these don’t age.
Younus Khan: Yes. When you got the news tha tMalika-e-tarannum had left this world – some time ago – how did you feel then?
Sharda: I felt very bad. All good people are passing away, this way. But what can we do?
Younus Khan: Apart from Noorjahan who else is your favourite in the world of ghazals?
Sharda: I have heard Begum Akhtar a lot, and I forgot her name…… Iqbal Bano!
Younus Khan: Iqbal Bano sang Faiz Ahmed Faiz a lot and was a famous-famous singer in Pakistan and she has fans all around the world. Many of her songs are searched and listened to even on the internet. Which hother stalwarts in the world of ghazals do you like?
Sharda: I sing this song too much. I liked this very much (sings) ‘ulfat ki nayi manzil ko chala kar baanhein daal ke baanhon mein, dil todne vale dekh ke chal hum bhi to pade hain raahon mein…..’
------------------------------- End of Episode – 5 ------------------------
Singer Sharda's Interview (Episode5)-Vividh Bharti