Sunday, December 08, 2013
Sunday, December 08, 2013
A Quiet Achiever
Last Updated: Friday, April 08, 2011, 14:38
Sniti was about five years old the first time she heard the word ‘music’. It happened on a day in the grip of the nagging June solstice in her native town Bolangir, in western Orissa, an interior district that had catapulted itself to distinction for many wrong reasons. She uttered a few lines of a song sang by Lata Mangeshkar...
Even as a toddler she was seen as chanting whenever there was any good music around, preoccupied and restless. Music, perhaps, was within her. The little and frail child had always woken up to the sultry mornings of Bolangir, searching for the respite in the din of the town, wadding through the clouds of imagination, a child of her age could hardly have cherished. Right from the age of five Sniti had started singing. Singing to herself, virtually serenading to the burning desire within to know music, to explore the secrets of the magic. She was selective in picking up songs that she used to listen. Songs of the greats like Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle had a predominant influence on her choice.
She had at times sat on her nani`s (grandmother) lap listening to fairy tales, like any other child of her age. But her with mind full of those musical scores, often fantasising the notes swarming into the room like the autumn leaves. “It kept weighing on me all the time that how do I know about the notes,” recollects Sniti.
Then she did not know what the word ‘music’ exactly meant. She was not old enough to understand its nuances. But she was always moved by the effects of the melody, the rythms, the beats, silently appreciating its creators. When she grew older, Sniti slowly understood the way the lyrics were being uttered by the singers. But, yet the notes kept bothering her. Her quest for the notes lingered over years till she came across Dr Raghunath Sahu, a classical maestro then working in Bolangir. But he straightaway refused to undertake the assignment of teaching Sniti due to professional preoccupation and bad health. Sniti was rattled for a while, feeling alone in the solitude of despair, as if stuck to a surface like a crushed greesy wrapper and fluttering in the breeze of Harishankar.
She was different, her tender psyche surging through the surfs in the ocean of music. Behind the frail frame and the fearful eyes of the child, there was a strength that was boiling in the saturation of creativity, a desire to conquer her ignorance in the field. Her mind trailing for miles along the bank of river Harishankar that flows along Bolangir. At times her mind running and flying above the parched surface of her native, scarcely distinguishable from the pains it had deposited within the last few years of tribulations in the shape of poverty.
Who knew that from the bosom of this obscurity there shall emerge a little girl to wear the mantle of a distinguished singer in the country`s most popular musical platform and make the pundits in the field to stand up from their chairs to cheer for a voice that they found unique among comity of the present day Indian singers. “After many years I have heard a voice that is different,” was the concluding remark of none other than AR Rahman after Sniti`s soulful recital of `Aye heirat-e Aashiqi...` on ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ stage.
Being the younger child of the family Sniti was more close to her mother who must have read the leanings of the child. Yet they could do little other than keeping her spirits up. In a family where the rest of the members had other preoccupations, Sniti in her quest for music had felt the terrors of loneliness sometimes. A child who was shy to the hilt, had chosen both the compulsion to live in the fringes of a closed society’s values and prejudices, and also chosen the hazards of falling in love with the music. That was in a place where she had little to hold on to. Yet she stood like a living sentinel in the middle of the road to learning.
For some time she remained incognito in her own world, confined to her little room, and suddenly fate smiled on her, on the day Dr Sahu accepted her as his disciple and started initiating her into the world of classical music.
"When he heard me for the first time, thank God he readily agreed to teach me," remembered Sniti. She had the first taste of music the day her Guru presented her with a dairy full of musical notes. The little nightingale-in-the-making of Bolangir was immensely elated and she had nearly spiralled out of control, consumed by the ecstasy of confidence.
Once a tempestuous love affair with music, Sniti slowly realized the cordial charms of the intricacies. Time passed and often she would silently convulse within with laughter at her past problems, which she had seen as mounting ones but today became forgettable. The shy and extremely introvert individual Sniti could be seen sometimes flitting around alone enjoying the liberation from the servitude of her ignorance. Dr Sahu`s magic made the difference.
Then she came to the capital city of Orissa, Bhubaneswar, where another challenge was waiting for her. The more she learnt, the more she was weighed down by her childhood dreams. She strived to keep them alive. “I had always dreamt of being on the stage of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa,” said Sniti, adding "I did not know how to go there".
She then went for a degree in MBA which claimed a good deal of her time. That came in the way of her `reyaaz ` in the morning. Her frailty made her ponder as to how to divide time between the two tasks. A complete vegetarian, Sniti had occasional bouts of weakness but she kept herself warmed up with other creative time-pass like reading Urdu poems and Net-surfing. She would never submit to any such difficulty as she had already submitted herself to music, and that is what kept her going.
Away from parents and her moorings left behind in the native town, she faced some initial roadblocks during her days in Bhubaneswar. At that time her elder sister Swati Mishra, who had also learnt music, stood as a pole-star for Sniti. She had realized the inner desires of her little sister, her lonely journey along the psychic terrains.
It was a lazy afternoon in late April 2010. While browsing through the newspapers Sniti stumbled upon an ad regarding an audition by the Zee TV for its famous `Sa Re Ga Ma Pa` programme. A girl who had remained intimate with the pain of losing out for few years, the ad suddenly made her ready to fathom the ultimate secrets of melody. Till late night she had to study and before dawn she had to get ready for the `reyaaz`.
She faced the audition on May 20 of last year. Her sister gave her the much needed moral succour and she made it to the final audition at last. “More sayan to hai pardesh mein… kya karun sawan ko (when my sweetheart is away, the monsoon has little meaning for me)” - the flow of Sniti’s voice forced the two judges at the final audition to stand up and clap after the first line only.
That performance made it amply clear that Sniti was like an insect encased in amber and once liberated she can fly faster than a bird, as if her talent was being baked inside the cake pan of eternity. Though a bit nervous during the initial phase of the the competition, she later came out with full-throated ease and went on to share eternity with her mentors.
Noted musicians and other celebs of the country were left enthralled by her voice texture and its originality, its pureness, free from the effects of other voices. Knowing well that the race to the top was being fought tooth and nail by all, Sniti hardly staked off her lot for a reward for her competence. She always came with her number, sang and resigned to her seat without a wrinkle on her face. But her numbers like ‘Aye heirat-e ashiqi...’ left the mentors and Rahman admiring through their eyes.
Either a serious number like `Soor mayi aankhion se...` or ‘Ye hosla kaise jhuke...’ or romantic ones like `In aankhon ki masti ke, mastane hazaron hain...’ or the tough classical numbers like `Laga chunri mein daag...`, Sniti had left the moments for her rivals to envy.
Each episode Sniti dug the foundation for the step ahead and earned her place fair and square, no matter what was the final outcome. Every performance of her had renditions spiced with something of her own. As if she drips her heart’s blood into her singing. The mentors had spoken it in many ways.
Sniti doesn’t like being conspicuous and it was always evident on the stage. She elegantly held back and waited for the mentors to know her.
The programme was a wonderful opportunity for her which she had never wasted. She was knocked out by the SMS voting no doubt but from that evening, as if one of the most melodious note was brutally terminated, she perhaps lived much above the rest in the eyes of the mentors.
She has an irresistible grace in her simplicity and a sense of power of unbounded tenacity as a student of music. What she needs is the right place to be and the opportunity to sing her heart out. She had surely failed to snatch a win from the jaws of the defeat in ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’, but she had undoubtedly rendered many to envy. Can she grow one day to be idolized? It is a challenge before Sniti Mishra.
(The views expressed by the author are personal)
Glimpses of North East India in the capital
Glimpses of a model`s life
Toyota Etios exclusive edition launched; prices start from Rs 4.95 lakh
I love to watch my body in front of the mirror, says Poonam
IIFA kicks off tomorrow; to host premieres, special screenings, exclusive sneak previews
comments powered by Disqus.
comments powered by
Most Popular in Exclusive
Apple iPhone 5S review: Bigger and better than before!
New HRA exemption rule: How it will affect you
Shoma Chaudhury Messes Up Batting for God Father Tejpal
Delhi Assembly Elections 2013: And the crown goes to…
My only encounter with the legend - Sachin Tendulkar
Triumph motorcycles ride into India: Models and price
My first inning has ended, second is about to begin: Sachin Tendulkar
State in Inertia: Nitish’s 8 Years in Bihar
Ajmal Kasab’s hanging could not act as a deterrent for Pakistan
More By Miscellaneous
Manchester United are back on track!
Shoma Chaudhury Messes Up Batting for God Father Tejpal
The bhartiya mahila “vote” bank!
Helicopters for VVIPs: India must act decisively
Is this Arsene Wenger’s chance to finally end Arsenal’s trophy drought?
In David Moyes’ Defence…
Truth be told, India is a minnow for Twitter
India, US - A false partnership
The Lion of Nairobi
Criminalising Poverty - An Equal Law?
Live from Kenya: `If I die, you take care of the kids`
Live from Kenya: London, Mumbai, Nairobi - what is the link?
Importance of pursuing recreational activities in senior years
Agni V and the South Asian Balance of Power
CLT20 needs to find its relevance and build a fan base like the UEFA Champions League
Yuvraj Singh`s century highlights his immense run-hunger and much-improved fitness
Helicopters for VVIPs - a Highly Convoluted Deal
Viswanathan Anand, Sachin Tendulkar and Leander Paes: Three legends without parallel
Whose Kashmir is it anyway?
Ranji: Prince of a small state, king of a great game
Eoin Morgan: Explosive, exciting and innovative
The spurious case against Sonia Gandhi
Where prices rise and the value of women declines
The actual cost of the Food Security Bill is the dignity of the rich
BCCI vs CSA: The implications of the standoff
Will you return to your career after 10 yrs` gap?
Will shift our focus to middle class: Jurgen Klanert
Fitness is important for fast-bowling and I am working on it: Ishwar Pandey
Sachin Tendulkar`s 200th Test: A testimonial match could have saved the BCCI a lot of trouble
Sachin Tendulkar`s 200th Test: The West Indies series could tarnish the last days of a fantastic career
Arjuna Award is evidence of Virat Kohli’s character
India A’s success is a stepping stone towards building a confident national team
Sourav Ganguly should have named VVS Laxman instead of himself in his all-time best India Test XI
Captain Cook has been astute, unfazed and often brilliant
Don Bradman scores a second-ball duck in his farewell Test innings
The legendary Alfred Hitchcock and the 1938 Ashes series in England
Seven women redefine independence
My wife was sure I was the Fake IPL Player: Murali Kartik
Rahul Dravid and Paddy Upton’s tips have helped me develop confidence: Sachin Baby
Safe in 21st Century India? A Tale of Four Cities
Acid attacks - The caustic truth
Chauvinism at Centre Court and beyond
Serena Williams, a symbol of “Victory and Courage”
Here is why Holi is celebrated
Market not delighted with Chidambaram`s eighth Budget
‘Beyond the tipping point, climate change consequences will be difficult’
`Cities should be hospitable and resilient`
Delhi Police tries some reforms to assure women safety
M&M VP talks on symbiosis of business mgmt
‘No country wants foreign aid in perpetuity’
MP Assembly polls: Shivraj Singh Chouhan thanks people for win
Delhi Assembly polls: `Bewakoof hain na hum`, says upset Sheila Dikshit
Delhi: Harsh Vardhan congratulates AAP
more videos >>
Rajasthan: Ashok Gehlot concedes defeat
Happy with AAP`s performance: Hazare
more videos >>
News from e-generator.com
Thank for your comment. Your comment will be seen by our moderator..!