Tunes from my past
Singer Nazia Ahmed
talks to Maleeha Mazen Khan
Courtesy: Asef Baki
My school days were spent in Viqarunnisa Noon School. I was in Bangla medium for twelve years. I used to be very hyper as a child, different than the rest of the kids that I went to school with. I remember finding it difficult to relate with my peers.
Things changed fast once I joined Viqarunnisa English medium school. For a change, I made friends. I remember I was very popular, although for the wrong reasons. I would go around bending rules, and I wasn't a very good student either. I scored well in only the subjects that would interest me. For instance, I found Social Science utterly boring, and thus, would never do well in it. I wasn't good in Mathematics either.
Looking back now, there are so many memories that pour in. Once we took part in the school cultural programme. We presented our performance. In the cultural programmes, students from both the english and bangla medium would take part. So what happened was, we chose to groove our moves with English songs, which weren't inappropriate and our teachers couldn't say no to it either, while girls from Bangla medium would perform to traditional songs. The whole performance drew much attention from the audience. I will not forget to mention Sameera, my best friend who has always been by my side, always readily agreeing to be my partner in crime. An interesting thing about Sameera is that she is one of those people who maintained a clean record throughout school.
When I joined BRAC University, life drove a sense of excitement to me. There were challenges to be overcome and I felt responsible for myself. I met so many new faces in those few years when I studied Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering. It was a whole new world out there and I took many a lesson out of those years. It is during my university years that I got back in touch with music. Talking about university, I would not miss out on mentioning my days at TARC, the residential campus of BRAC at Savar. Those were some of my greatest times mainly because they complemented my adventure loving personality.
Like every other individual, I have always had a figure of inspiration through all the phases of my life. My mom, an amazing singer, is someone I have always been in awe of. I think I have been on the receiving end of her musical genius right from the comfort of her womb. Other than my mom, my Guruji, Shipra Khan has been a source of great inspiration. She has been training me ever since I was ten years old. And of course, there is my father with whom I share some wonderful memories. As a pre-schooler, I would be dropped off at a place to be baby sat. On his way back home, he would pick me up and after a moment of settling down, he would ask me to sing a ghazal for him. I would usually have no option but to sing because he would scare me saying if I didn't, then he will abandon me in the middle of the street. These few people were always there from the very start of my journey into music.
I have always experimented with new things but music is something I have always clung to. My journey had not been always smooth. There were people with their preconceived notions; I have had to encounter remarks like “She is just another girl trying her luck out in the entertainment business.” These statements have never held me back, instead, I charged into the music scene with my heart and soul, because it remains to be the one thing I feel most passionately about. To all you out there, I would like to shout out, if you feel like doing something, do not hold yourselves back, just go for it.