Meera Mehzabin and Saanjh Jaura, two remarkable young girls, are deeply committed to preserving and nurturing the timeless art of Indian classical music. Meera, originally from Dhaka, Bangladesh, relocated to Vancouver with her family in 2014. At the age of 12, she embarked on a dedicated journey of training under Pandit Ajay Chakraborty of the Patiala Kasur Gharana.
Every four months, she would travel to West Bengal, India, to receive personal guidance from her Guru. During the pandemic, she spent three years in India to be closer to her mentor and returned to Vancouver only last year. Her passion for classical music is unwavering, and she considers each Raga as a living entity, infusing it with her unique talim and gayaki. She remarks, "I grew up exposed to various forms of music, but classical music has always resonated with me, providing an immense sense of peace."
Saanjh Jaura, born in Amritsar, India, and now residing in Vancouver, shares Meera's fervour for Indian classical music. At the age of eight, she began her musical journey under the tutelage of Dr. Prabhakar Kashyap of the Benares Gharana. Recognizing her gifted and magical voice, her father tirelessly sought the right Guru who could introduce her to the pure, rich world of Indian classical music and guide her on this remarkable journey.
Saanjh expresses a special bond with her Guru, initially learning in person in Amritsar and now continuing her lessons online. Their classes are dynamic, sometimes focusing on refining songs, identifying mistakes, and improvement strategies. For concerts, Guruji assists her with ghazals, thumris (a semi-classical music style), and other forms. Saanjh shares, "We collaborate on our material, refining it in our classes, but the most crucial aspect Guruji emphasizes is feeling the raag, as he believes that deeper emotional connection enhances rendition."
Both Meera and Saanjh are excited about their performance at the Centre Stage at Surrey City Hall on September 17th, where they will share the stage with renowned British Columbian musicians Amarjeet Singh on Tabla, Mohan Bhide on Harmonium, and Gavin Dhillon on Sitar.
Their performance will encompass Ghazal, Thumri, and Semi-Classical Film songs. Meera will showcase Raag Malkauns, a piece she has been perfecting for the past two years, while Saanjh will perform Raag Yaman. They are enthusiastic about this collaboration and look forward to sharing their music not only with classical music enthusiasts but also with those who appreciate Bollywood and pop music, as there are more similarities than differences, all grounded in the 12 surs (musical notes).