By S Banerjee: As far as name and fame goes, Tapu Mishra is now a household name in Odisha, her melodious voice and range of renditions having won the hearts of the people. But not many are aware that her elder sister, Deepshikha Mishra is as good an artist, the only difference being in the fact that she is displaying her musical acumen in Nepal, where she is based with her family.
Both sisters began their musical journey from Sambalpur and had their talents honed under the guidance of the same gurus. They started with training under Prabhudatta Pradhan on light music and then were under the tutelage of Gyananjan Mohapatra for Indian classical music.
Deepshikha started off as a child artist and won accolades from the very beginning. One of the achievements that came at a tender age was getting the 1st prize at the International Children Festival in Sydney.
Deepshikha was a registered singer with AIR and DD and went many places across the country showcasing her talent. In the beginning of the millennium, Deepshikha also dabbled in Odia film songs. At the same time she was a dynamic student with a first class first gold medal in Sanskrit.
Marriage brought another turning point in her life. Her husband, Avani Kumar Nanda, is originally from Cuttack and has a huge medical business.
Deepshikha stayed at places like Hyderabad and Gujarat with her husband but ultimately settled down at Birganj, Nepal where Nanda has three huge National Healthcare Injection plants.
And, here in Nepal started another musical odyssey for Deepshikha. Not only she learnt Nepali but now is on the verge of releasing her first Nepali song album, “Life is Music”.
Her husband, Avani Kumar Nanda, has himself produced it while noted lyricist and music director, Ramesh Pariyal, has directed the same. Pariyal, a guitar maestro, is also based in Birganj. The album has been arranged by Gopal Rasiely and other renowned names in Nepal like Jeevan Thapa and Chandra Choudhury have worked as the Video Director and recordist for the album respectively.
Videos of two of the songs in the album are already out and are constantly playing in leading TV channels of Nepal like ‘Himalayan’, ‘Kantipur’, ’Image TV’, ‘Sagarmatha’ , the national channel-‘Nepal 1’, ‘BTV’ etc. Top actors in Nepal namely Resh Marhatta and Arunima Kharel have acted in the videos.
The response and the feedback have been quite encouraging. Talking to ONI over phone, Deepshikha disclosed that one of the released songs, titled ‘Timro Maya’ (Your Love) is centred around the tragic life story of a girl whose lover is a drug addict. “The videos are already getting good response and the full album will be released on the auspicious day of the New year i.e the first of Baisakh (mid-April)”, revealed Deepshikha.
“Actually the name of the album mirrors my life—‘Life is Music’. I received the very basic rudimentary training in music from my mother…..she was actually my first guru and my family’s contribution has been immense in shaping up of my career. But I am also very lucky to have such a loving and supportive husband. He is today my biggest support and one can gauge his commitment towards me and my passion from the fact that he has himself produced this album” , shared Deepshikha with this Correspondent.
Deepshikha Mishra is part of a family that has deep musical and cultural roots. As revealed and acknowledged by her, mother Charubala Mishra was an approved AIR and TV lyricist and definitely Deepshikha’s first motivation.
While the youngest sister, Tapu Misra, is a star in her own right, the middle one of the three sisters, Deepa Misra, is a Tabalist as also a folk Odissi dancer. While her mother was Deepshikha’s initial guru, her father, Khetra Mohan Mishra, was her first audience as it was he who would be the first to hear the songs learnt by little Deepshikha after returning from office, back in Sambalpur. Though he was an employee of SBI but was also a theatre artist at the same time.
To bring the talent line to a big circle, Deepshikha’s son, Ashes Kumar, may be all of ten years but he plays the guitar with aplomb. A student of the maestro, Ramesh Pariyal, Ashes already has knowledge of classical and western fusion and his strings can effortlessly produce the same in style.
That Deepshikha is based in Nepal hasn’t stopped the sisters to collaborate on music. The joint album of Tapu Mishra and Deepshikha Mishra is in the pipeline. Named ‘Singing Birds’, the music is by Tapu Misra. In fact, one of the songs of the album-‘Sai Mahima’, has been written by their mother Charubala Mishra, giving the album a truly family stamp. Deepshikha may be staying away from her state beyond the borders of the country, but in her heart she is still a true Odia.
“I have brought Odia flavor into Nepal. I proudly say that I am from Odisha. The name of my state comes up whenever my name comes up here. It makes my head high and fills my heart with pride”, said Deepshikha over phone.
Team ONI wishes all the best to Deepshikha for her album as also to the coming up joint venture by the supremely talented sisters. In Deepshikha’s case, it is like the vastness of the ‘Sagar’ (from where she originally belongs) has blended with the lofty heights of the ‘Sagarmatha’( where she is based now). The blending has power , promise, purity and panache.
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