A Race Against The Tide

Imagine being billed as one of the most promising talents as early as at the age of 4, only to have met with an unbidden tragedy on the road a year later, which not only took away her father but also confined her physically for the rest of her life.

Recently turned 18, Sia Kashyap from Mangaldoi, Assam, has always wished for a career in dancing, believing that by way of dance she can express her true self. Back then, it was Sanjib Mallik, a dance teacher, who spotted the potential in Sia and motivated her to follow her dreams. Thereafter, she pursued dancing with all her heart and soul while depending on Youtube channels for the moves.

Sia’s mother, her lone parent who works around the clock to make a living for the two, said: “I am so proud of my daughter, with the way she has turned the tide ever since the accident. She can do whatever she feels like with her career, I am always there to support her through thick and thin. She is my lone reason to be alive.”

Since onset, Sia has been a lyrical dancer. With time she is trying to excel the waacking form too.

Finally, when we asked about her dream, she replied with a smile: “I want to inspire people through my dance. In life, we always face unforeseeable hurdles but the way we overcome such situations is what makes the person we are today. With all the struggle that my mother and I had to go through over the years, I am trying my best to bring back the smile back on my mom’s face.”

The Curious Case of Darshana

“What is missing in me?” 23-year-old Darshana Kashyap, who has been previously appreciated by the likes of Bollywood greats Shankar Mahadevan, Harshdeep Kaur, mulls over the question posed to her during a recent chit-chat. It came across as a curious proposition to put to a girl who is so full of beans and more importantly has an extremely melodious voice.

Darshana has been singing since she was 5, much to the influence of her mother who herself wanted to be a singer but destiny held other plans. During the initial years, she performed choruses at various gatherings apart from pulling off famous covers.

However, as she approached the final years of school and eventually higher school, music composing and singing took the backseat while academies led the wheels of her life. The notion of her family that she has a better future in academies remained the obstinate footnote for her career back then.

It was in the second year of college (Delhi University) when Darshana decided to revive her music interest and this time with a promise to never bag down whatsoever. But again, it took just a few months for her to stumble upon tuberculosis and pleural effusion, only to leave her in tears and slimming hopes of living her dream. BUT, she didn’t give up!

She went through a successful operation, recuperated and thereafter, shifted back to her hometown. It took her sometime to again make a comeback but eventually did. In 2019, she set things moving with gigs where she was the centre of all applauds (what a comeback, eh!).

What’s next? She is all geared up to release her debut album in the next few months. Also, going ahead, she is planning to fan out Assamese folk music to all corners of the country.

Darshana is habitually a vocal young woman who makes her stand against social issues. She is also preparing to tell stories in order to address the burning issues of the community at large, something which, she believes, people need to be made aware of.

A Star is Born

Often in life, a person’s entire career trajectory can change by one swing of wind in favor of you. It was the year 2015 when a certain ‘Marijuana’ song took the people at large by storm and transfigured Nihal Basumatary’s life, who was the lead guitarist, in a nutshell.

Having worked with the band ‘Backdoor Theory’ for over 3 years during his college days, Nihal, who is a massive fan of John Mayer, Amit Trivedi and Zubeen Garg, has been ramming his own future for one year now. Last November, Nihal collaborated for the first time with a fellow artist to release a cover song ‘Shaam’ which was highly appreciated by his digital audience. With such motivating response, he continued airing more covers.

Nihal is blessed to be part of a very supportive (and music-oriented, of course) family. Back when he was in school, it was his uncle who peeled him out to learn guitar along with his cousin, George Hazowary. After mastering the art of playing with the strings, Nihal trained to become a vocalist. That being fruitful and having gained some considerable years of experience, he is now engrossing all the attention to composing his own songs.

The happy-go-lucky dilettante music producer believes the Assamese music industry has been encouraging for newcomers lately with the audience willing to turn their ears on for newbies with potential.

His cousin, George, who is a banker by day and a musician by night, is now a trained pianist and keyboardist and often collaborates with Nihal to mold amusing notes.