Accomplished violinist and singer, Sunita Bhuyan, is one of the most eagerly awaited performers at this year’s women centric Paddy Fields Music Festival. Sunita trained under her mother, well known violinist, Minoti Khaund, from an early age and also under legendary maestro, Pt. V G Jog. She is a recipient of the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award for Excellence in Music, has a Masters Degree in Hindustani Music and also an MBA in Human Resources.
Though Sunita has her roots in classical music she was drawn to the diversity of traditional folk and Indo jazz fusion music. She recently launched an album of folk music on the violin, Bihu Strings, on the Times Music label.
Sunita has performed on various stages in India and around the world including the UK, US and Asia. Her recent projects included the Commonwealth Culture Series UK, With Strings Attached, Edinburg, and Beyond Boundaries, London, to name a few.
Sunita is a multifaceted woman who has also worked as a Training and Wellness expert in the corporate world for almost 20 years, besides her welfare work amongst children and cancer patients, spreading the healing touch of music therapy.
She has received an award from His Holiness Pope Francis, at the Vatican for her work in music therapy with underprivileged children, cancer patients and people with disability and an invitation to attend Mother Teresa's canonization, as a "Joy of Giving "Ambassador.
Here RagatoRock speaks to Sinita Bhuyan about her music, career and women empowerment:
What do you think of this years Paddy Fields being dedicated to women?
It's an amazing concept. I love breaking myths be in with my violin or in the field of business management. Paddy Fields is breaking the myth that only men can lead a mainstream mega festival where we are expecting a huge turnout. The other myth is that only Bollywood music is entertaining..which is a myth again. Audiences are wanting alternative music as long as it connects, has melody and great rythym. Kudos to NESCO and Paddy Fields for being a trailblazer !
What are your views on Women empowerment?
Empowerment to me means equality , partnership and collaboration . So I don't believe in women's liberation..or bra burning! I think nature has created men and women differently and its best to play with our own strengths an not try to over rule each other. Diversity is about inclusiveness not exclusion. Where people work together by making best use of our different strengths, skills, and ideas. thats how synergy is created
What is your repertoire about or what can we expect at the Paddy Fields on the theme of women?
Am so excited ! My genre would be mainly Assamese folk fusion . Where I will also demonstrate it at three levels. Classical folk fusion, Assamese folk Bihu and Fusion with world music like Irish and Scottish . I will be joined from Assam by the Dhol Samrat Ranjit Gogoi and his group of musicians and a few dancers too. My band in Mumbai would also join me on tabla, keys, guitars and Percussion's. Last but not the least I shall perform my song from the Paddy Field album "Porbotey Porbotey " a very old traditional song made completely different by nine other then Lesle Lewis.Theme is definitely Diversity and Inclusion through the Arts!
What would you like see a change in Women Rights?
There has already been a lot of new policies in Parliament as well as in the socio economic laws ..like representation in the government, as well right to property for daughters etc. However it's mainly about mindsets for which we as a culture have to create a lot of awareness at different levels. In the family educate the boy child about equal rights and of course send the girl to school! In organisations overrule the glass ceiling, discrimination and gender bias.
Name some songs that you like are Women Enpowering or Women oriented ?
Shubha Mudgals song "Man ke manjeere" has always evoked profound feelings..on how education can change the life of a woman...man ke manjeeren aaj khanak be late, Bhoole the Chalna Kadam thirakne lage.."I had forgotten how to walk.. but education has given me the power to dance too"
Tell us about your forthcoming work to look out for Albums, Shows etc...?
I am working on a series on "Joy of Giving " through the medium of music. Not philanthropic but creating better lives through music. As a part of this next year I am planning take a few less privileged children from Assam to perform in Glasgow Festival. Next year I am also taking the folk fusion ensemble to the UK. Then a few ongoing collaboration with some great artists are also in the pipeline Two albums are in the anvil..One classical and the other folk fusion music video . The classical will ensure I take out time for my Riyaz much to my mothers wish,
- Pradeep Joseph and Stanley Paul