When you see a 17-year-old boy speaking meekly, it is but natural to wonder what would happen if he is asked to perform on a public platform like the 45th Pandit Motiram Maniram Samaroah. However, the shy Swar Sharma stunned everyone at the festival with his masterly rendition of a not so familiar raga, the Nat Narayan.
Incidentally, Swar is the grandson of Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj, who has been organising this festival of music as a tribute to his father Pandit Motiram and his brother Pandit Maniram annually, since its inception in 1972. Says Pandit Jasraj, “Swar sang so beautifully. He is very dedicated to his music. My father must have sung Nat Narayan around the age of 25 and Swar is already singing it at the age of 17. He can sing many intricate patterns with ease. There is a spark in the younger generation to constantly be updated about the fast-changing world. Swar is no different.”
But it was not easy to speak to the budding musician, as he couldn’t stop blushing. “Music has always been a part of my life. I have been constantly listening to my father Rattan Mohan Sharma, who is a performer and teacher of Hindustani music. But, I really love the music of my Daadu (referring to Pandit Jasraj). I have been taking music lessons from him. Sometimes, it’s not easy for me to ask questions about a composition. Almost for a month I was thinking of how to ask him to teach me the Nat Narayan. One day when I finally asked, Daadu started smiling incessantly. He is a very keen observer. I feel lost in his music. I like to play basketball, but there is very little time and place available in our neighbourhood,” shares Swar.
His father, Rattan says, “Swar’s interest in classical music has grown. He is not interested in Bollywood music. My wife and I do not remind him to practice anymore. It’s very interesting that the pursuit of music has helped Swar to secure admission in his college as part of the cultural quota. The bonding between Mamaji (Pandit Jasraj) and my son is very sacred.”
Talking about the legacy of the Mewati Gharana, Pandit Jasraj concludes, “For me, legacy is not about keeping it within the family. Any student who is talented and works hard is welcome to take the legacy forward!”...