Song of the valley
S.D. Sharma

Masoom Thakur and Sada.
COUPLING MUSIC:Sada and Masoom Thakur — Photo by Manoj Mahajan

The folk music of Kashmir and serenity of Sufiana kalam, even when its philosophy was not fully within his grasp, urged Masoom Thakur to take to singing, that too in the lap of nature. “Out of sheer innocence, I used to presume that the hillocks are listening to my songs with rapt attention,” shares Jammu-bred and now Delhi-based maestro Masoom Thakur, reminiscing the good-old childhood days in the Kashmir valley.

In city for a concert along with singer wife Sada, he shares his moments of struggle and achievements with the Life Style. Rooted to folk traditions, Sufiana and classical music, he did not succumb to the charms of pop music, he says, expressing hope for ghazal that will eventually leave behind the trends of ‘remixes’ and ‘fusion’ music.

His inspiration for vocal music came from his maternal grandfather, a performer at the royal court of Maharja Hari Singh in Srinagar. In a bid to emulate his folk compositions, Masoom practiced hard to establish his identity as an amateur artiste in the valley. After graduation, Masoom saw a career in music and started learning classical music and sarangi under the tutelage of Ustad Sabri Khan.

“I chose this instrument for its technical virtuosity, for its ability to produce harkats and voice so close to human. But my passion for vocal music rebelled in 1982 and resulted in the production of six music albums during my formative years,” he shares.

Be it the Sham-e-Ghazal, Pooja ke Phool, Dil Deevana, Silsila Yaadon Ka and the latest Diwani Kar Dini, all give out diverse flavours, ranging from serenity of Sufiana, spirituality, vigour of folklore to the romantic grandeur of ghazal.

His partner in life and music, Sada joined him later and inspired by a few husband wife duo’s, especially Chitra and Jagjit Singh, and ventured to present ghazal concerts in Indonesia, Dubai, Thailand and other Asian countries with encouraging response. Holding the duo in reverence as their role model, Masoom likes Chitra Singh among the female ghazal singers after the indomitable Begum Akhtar.  “The happiest moments in my life was when music wizards like Mahendra Kapoor, Shabbir Kumar and Jagjit Singh not only recorded for TV serials like Awaaz Nai Andaz Vohi, Ga Mere Man Ga and Chetna which I directed and blessed me.”

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