Plucking the Strings of the Soul
I was born in Saint Petersburg in Russia. Saint Petersburg is an extremely cultural city and everybody there loves to read and they love listening to music. So I grew up in a very cultural environment. I spent a big part of my childhood loving literature and writing. I was very involved in reading and writing and that is how I spent my life at school as well. I went to our district school and studied there till the 12th grade.
After finishing school, I got into Saint Petersburg State Academy in Russia to get a degree in Psychology.
Even while I studied in Saint Petersburg, I loved travelling. I travelled mostly to Middle Eastern countries. The reason for that is mainly because I was always interested in their politics. When touring around the Middle East, I met a lot of new people, from different races, religions and mindsets. Meeting them inspired me a lot and helped me realise how the world is so full of conflict and there is just so much to look out for. All these realisations and learning these new things inspired me to write a book. In the year 2003, I published my first book in Russia. Translated in English, the title reads 'Perfect State', the book is a novel with facts about Middle Eastern politics, conflicts, religious issues and more.
I got introduced to Indian Classical music about three years ago. There was a community of Russian musicians who cherished and celebrated Indian Classical music and players of instruments starting from sitar to tabla and had vocalists too. From everything, I connected with the sound of the sitar the most. Since then, I have considered sitar to be the sound of my soul. There's a connection between me and the sound of the sitar that I cannot explain but it is the one that touched my heart and I have been a devoted learner of the instrument since then. I have been learning seriously for one year. My Guru lives in Karnataka and I go there and take lessons from him as a true disciple. My Guru, Ustad Rafique Khan, is of the Gwalior Gharana. I also received teachings and blessings of Pandit Rajeev Janardan of Etawah Gharana, in Delhi. Meanwhile, I have performed in Russia, Bangladesh and India.
I am currently living in Bangladesh. I came here in October to get married to Bangladeshi Hindustani Classical vocalist, Niloy Ahsan. I will go back to India soon to continue learning the sitar. My goal right now is to become a full-fledged performer of the sitar. After that, I may get into teaching as well, but right now I'm focusing everything on learning as much as I can. In the future, I'm sure to either settle down here or in India with my husband. Since we're both into Indian Classical music, a place in the sub-continent would be perfect for us to make a future together.
I have performed in Shilpakala Academy here and I have met many talented artists already like Yousuf Khan. When it comes to judging what the state of Indian Classical music is in Bangladesh, being a foreigner, I do not think I can make any comment. Hindustani Classical music was born here and it will live here forever. The heart of Indian Classical music lies in these very grounds, so it will always be here and it will always be thriving.
As for the young talented individuals out there, I just want all of you to support and respect Hindustani Classical music. It is eternal. It should be treated with utmost love and value.