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-6 broadcast on 18 October 2009.
Younus Khan: Shardaji, welcome once again to the sudios of vividh bharati! I am thinking, out of so many questions, this episode should be started with which question! You said, Begum Akhtar has also been your favourite!
Sharda: Yes-yes-yes. Which is that song of hers! (sings) ‘Mere humsafar mere humnawa, mujhe dost banaakar daga na de’ . I can’t recollect it. Had you told earlier, I would have come prepared (Younus Khan laughs). Any way!
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Song: Mere humnafas mere humnawa….. (Non-film – Begum Akhtar)
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Younus Khan: In the days of recordings, while singing, which aspects did you use to stress upon or take care of?
Sharda: Voice should be correct, mood should be fresh, everything else- the music directors used to conduct naa! There did not use to be any trouble. They will make you sing, you know. They used to stand in front and you automatically used to know how to sing!
Younus Khan: How long did it take to record each song then?
Sharda: Sometimes there used to be 14-14 takes. We used to go at 9 in the morning, then there used to rehearsals, rehearsals with the musicians, then voice balance, then start of the take. Sometimes one take, sometimes three takes, This way it used to go on till the evenings.
Younus Khan: That menas one song used to be done in one day. Today when you hear that one person sings 14-14 songs in a day…..
Sharda: It is OK naa! It has become like a wholesale market (Younus Khan laughs). Like we talk about stock market, this has also become like a market.
Younus Khan: Probably this is why the quality has gone down.
Younus Khan: It is not the same now.
Younus Khan: Shardaji, which of your songs took the maximum time to record?
Sharda: ‘Vo pari kahaan se laaoon’.
Younus Khan: Hmmmm hmmmm. What was the reason that it took so long?
Sharda: Because ther were many antaras and many girls and three singers. And it took lot of time for ‘Badkamma’ also because Rafi saheb start speaking many dialogues. Incidentally what happened – it was recorded in Bombay Labs and there were 2-3 microphones but one of them went out of order. They gave one microphone to Rafi saheb and told me to share the other one with Mehmood saheb. So I started singing and Mehmood sheb too started 'mere hosh uda de yankanaa’, ‘uda daaloonga’, he was getting in between (Younus Khan laughs). I said I have to sing the next line, ‘aankhon se pila de yankanna’, then ‘pila daaloonga’ (Younus Khan laughs). I had to get back this way. Recordist Sharmaji said- Mehmoodji teased you so much nut you gave befitting reply.
Younus Khan: And live orchestra?
Sharda: Live orchestra and everybody is standing in front and he is shouting and speaking so much in between!
Younus Khan: So didn’t you get disturbed?
Sharda: Yes, I have to sing in proper notes and in between he is getting to my microphone. I have to move and come back, you know, without giving my voice a shake.
Younus Khan: And many times it happens if there is some naughty artist with you, you may forget your lines!? Sharda: Yes, but you have to keep you concentration naa! That is required of a singer. This song came in the top sellings in 1968, in top 10.
Younus Khan: Yes, and it is a very important song. And there must have been lot of takes for this song when Mehmood saheb was teasing so much!?
Sharda: Yes, in every take he is saying something or the other. Shankar saheb had also told him to say whatever he liked (both laugh)
Younus Khan: There was full freedom.
Sharda: He had got full freedom.
Younus Khan: So every time he was changing his dialogues?
Sharda: Yes, saying something sometime, the other thing otherwise.
Sharda: (sings) "Bakamma-bakamma ikad pautora". The soul point in this too naa! Jerks have to be given – Bakamma-bakamma-bakamma, there should be every single beat, Ikad pautora, Ikad-ikad ra…
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Song: Bakamma-bakamma ikad pautora (Film - Shatranj)
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Younus Khan: Very nice - very nice! When we listen to this song, it doesn’t seem like it involved so much hard work while making.
Sharda: Ya-ya. That what goes on at the time of recording.
Younus Khan: Let us tell the people that while make a song how many-how many stories…..
Sharda: So many-so many stories, so much-so much hard work and we should not forget to mention the musicians. They were so devoted. They didn’t use to care about time, the did not look at the watch, whether they will get overtime. They never bothered about it. They thought that the song must be proper. Even after the music director okaying, there were few musicians who used to say one more take-one more take. They were sincere this way.
Younus Khan: Yes. And 150-200 persons – musicians are playing and few persons are singing and there are takes again and again in it. That means it involves the hard work of 150-200 persons.
Sharda: And there used to be conductors for them. Like if there are 150-200 persons, there should be 4-5 conductors for them. They will go otherwise, it would go wavy naa! Everything should come in one harmony. So what should be played where, sometimes there are group instruments, sometimes solo. everything has to be controlled.
Younus Khan: Same way which of your other songs have been difficult? With Kishore Da or anybody else who had lot of spontainity?
Sharda: Spontainity was there. It didn’t seem that difficult because rehearsals used to be there, preparations used to be done. Sometimes rehearsals were also done with musicians and after that we used to record, the recording used to be very smooth. Shankar-Jaikishan were truly genius music directors. They used to make any singer sing. I at least did some hard work so there was no question of any problem.
Younus Khan: Shankar-Jaikishan’s music, the style of their music, it has been very different, a complete era….. Sharda: I even say if you take out Shankar-Jaikishan’s music then our music will seem entirely backward. Because it was Shankar-Jaikishan who brought variety and western variety and entirely new style. So usually as per the octave, the songs used to be on low notes. No music director had ever made any song on high note. Like (sings) ‘Dil tera diwana hai sanam’ nobody started on such high note. And nobody ever did earlier in different style, (sings) ‘Aiyai ya karoon main kya suku-suku’. And Shankar-Jaikishan did entire orchestra part by part – part, counterpart, here tam-tam-tam is being played, dholak being played there. To bring lot of support behind them. Otherwise there ws only tabla playing, then some voice, then few instruments, then tabla…..
Younus Khan: The structure used to be very simple
Sharda: Shankar-Jaikishan brought new era in film industry.
Younus Khan: Please throw some light on Shankar-Jaikishan’s few songs which were very important in their structure.
Sharda: That ‘Dil ki nazar se’ is there naa! (sings) ‘Dil ki nazar se, nazron ki dil se’ and there is music playing with it tan-tan-tan, tan-tan-tan that would keep going. You note it. You won’t find music arrangement this way, anywhere.
Younus Khan: The signature music of this song is also too fabulous, before the start of the song.....
Sharda: There is some thing or the other in every song, this way. But due to lack of facilities in those days, few music parts got suppressed. Importance was given to voice, i.e. words should be understood. Thinking about it, music parts have somewhat got hidden.
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Song: Dil ki nazar se….. (Film – Anadi)
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-------------- End of Episode – 6 -----------
Singer Sharda's Interview (Episode6)-Vividh Bharti