Kailash Mehra - singing her way to
- Deepika B. Thakur
The Kashmir Times, Jammu, October 13, 1996
Deep in the heart of this
universe of creation and immanent with it, there is a kind of
throbbing of life. Music conveys to us a feeling of this heart-throb
of universal harmony. When any powerful, rich voice takes over one
gets lost in a kind of other worldliness. One such eminent singer is Kailash
Mehra who spellbounds her listeners with her singing. Whether she
is singing a bhajan, Ghazal or any other song her sonorous voice
Gyrating tadns taking spirals instead of
straight shapes strike with the force of a whiplash. Kailash Mehra who
has carved a niche for herself among the versatile singers has an
astounding breath capacity and control. Kailash's notes meander with
increasing Vigour to a breath taking crescendo. She has taken to music
in a spirit of devotion and whatever be the audience she is singing to
Kailash's gifted voice amages all. At the end of her performance
everyone leaves with a feeling of upliftment.
If a lilting voice sings a ghazal or bhajan
that is both delicate and also touches the heart, then this is the
voice of Kailash Mehra. She has established herself as a singer of
What distinguishes this eminent singer from
others is that she can sing in more than fifteen languages with
perfection and it is difficult to believe that she doesn't know that
language. For that she has to do a lot of 'riyaz' and concentrate on
pronounciation of the language. In In Madras when she sang a Tamil
song the listeners did not believe that she was from North. Of all the
languages she finds Kashmiri and Tamil difficult. But before she sings
in a particular language she does a lot of homework, like she
understands the song, its true concept and what is the ambience in
which the singer is expected to sing.
She got tremendous pleasure by singing Ved
Pal Deep's ghazals in Dogri. She feels that there is great depth in
his compositions and she really makes the concerts lively when she
sings 'Unda Vaada Maa Yaa Saada Haa Kasoor ...' . Kailash has worked
with famous composers of our state including Bhajan Sopori, Nasirullah
Khan, Mohd Ashraf, T.K. Jalali, Krishan Langoo, Pritam Singh,
Pardhuman Singh, Brij Bohan, Harish Kaila and Ravi Sharma.
Awards have been conferred on her since
childhood when she started participating in music competitions. In
1993 she was honoured with 'Malika-e-Ghazal' in Ghazal contest
organised by Jammu Vikas Sanstha. Dogri Sanstha also awarded her in
connection with its Golden Juhilee celebration. She was also awarded
as best singer by Sri Bhal Samarak Samiti Kashmir in 1988. In 1987 she
was honoured as best singer by the Bakshi Memorial committee of
J&K state. She also received the Mehboob Awami Funkara award from
Sadiq Memorial Committee of J&K in 1981 and best singer of show
songs by the Exhibition Committee of J&K state.
"Radio, TV and Cultural Academy have
helped me to gain popularity and given me opportunities to exhibit my
talent," says Kailash Mehra who has a passion for music and
concentrates on it with devotion and dedication which is the secret of
She has the distinction of having
participated in music competitions and concerts organiseci by J&K
cultural academy and having given sterling performances on Radio and
Television in Kashmir, Jammu, Jullandhar, Delhi and other states of
the country. She has performed not only in J&K but in Patna,
Lucknow, Calcutta, Madras, Trivandrum, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Delhi.
Kailash also participated in 4th Festival of
Music organised by Kashmiri Overseas Association of Great Britain in
the year 1985 at London. She also featured as a playback singer of a
TV movie 'Aarinimall ', ' Behta Sairab' and 'Mahan' besides other
documentaries. She has sung major portion of three operas 'Vitasta', 'Himalya
ka cheshmee' and 'Puja Baaj Payla' prepared by J&K cultural
academy. Her recordings are in Dogri, Kashmiri, Urdu, Gojri, Sanskrit,
Punjabi, Hindi, Persian, Bhaderwahi, Kannad, Tamil, Telugu and Bangla.
Her E. P. of Dogri songs has been cut by Enarco Gramaphone Company,
Calcutta and L. P. of Kashmiri songs extracted from Opera Vitasta.
Little did the child of class 3, a student of
Devki Arya Putri Patshalla, Srinagar when she. sang a bhajan before
distinguished audience, know that she would adopt singing as a
profession. But before that she had to struggle a lot, Kailash had to
learn classical music in its true essence. Little Kailash was
determined and with her family encouragement; particularly her mother
and her Guru's blessings she began her onward journey into this field.
Swarup Nath Sapru, Pandit Shambu Nath Sopori, Bhajan Sopori, helped
her to get the requisite training in classical music and nurture her
talent. Mohammad Kallu as radio recordist helped her too when she
started giving Radio programmes. She has post graduation degree in
music and has graduated from University of Kashmir. She also has
master's degree in vocal music frolll Prayag Sangeet Samiti Allahahad
and from Punjab University, Chandigarh.
At present she is a Professor of music in MAM
Govt Degree College, Jammu. She loves to teach the students of her
college and anyone who wants to learn from her.
Kailash believes that 'Riyaz' is very
important and does it as a regular routine everyday for two hours.
This gives her satistfaction and she believes that she has yet to
learn a lot.
About classical music Kailash says that this
is the base and if you learn it, do 'riyaz' regularly then alone one
can achieve excellence otherwise superficial knowledge does not help
in the long run.
Even after winning thunderous applause from
the audience when she sings, Kailash always feels that she could have
sung better. This she reveals humbly without boasting of her melodious
voice. She is lucky to have the cooperation of not only her husband
who is her best critic but also of her in-laws particularly her
mother-in-law. She has an audience at home too who appreciate her and
thus help her in her struggle to achieve more success.