The journey of a nightingale

The journey of a nightingale

The journey of a nightingale

Dressed in her school uniform, Tumpa Kumari sings ‘Sun raha hai na tu’ from the Bollywood movie ‘Aashiqui 2’ as the audience sits in rapt attention, only to break into a roaring applause after she concludes. Unaware that her singing was being filmed, the visually impaired 16-year-old from Ranchi has now become an internet sensation after her video went viral — so much so that playback singer Hariharan has taken her under his wings.

“While singing, I did not realise that my voice would be appreciated by such a large number of people. I think of this opportunity as a dream because I have received more than what I deserve. I am grateful to everyone for their support,” said Tumpa.

It was during one of the sessions in her school, wherein management students from across institutes come and teach the visually impaired girls, she was asked to sing a song. Her rendition of the song was recorded by one of the student-teachers and uploaded on Facebook in July. The video became a hit and went viral, further propagating through mediums like WhatsApp, Twitter and YouTube.

With the wide reach of social media, the video reached Hariharan, who recognised the talent behind the voice and after locating her, offered his tutelage and personal training to help her make a career as a singer. She has already had two introductory training classes in Mumbai, wherein Hariharan tried to discern her interests and the way in which she grasps music.

“My musical training under Hariharan will comprise of basic ‘sur gyaan’ to technicalities of singing and performance, and light music training with a classical flavour. While he will directly train me from time to time, my basic skills would be developed under the guidance of teachers and disciples chosen by him, under his supervision — this will be at least two to three days a week for a couple of hours daily. Every week to 10 days, I will be trained directly by Hariharan for three to four hours,” she shared.

Formally untrained except for a few instances of music classes, Tumpa, who has two sisters, was orphaned at a young age. Having lost both her parents at an early age, she has lived the early part of her life with relatives.

“I have been singing since the age of three and have even sung on streets to earn a livelihood and support my sisters and contribute to the family income. I like to listen to all Bollywood songs — anything that soothes my mind and heart. I am so passionate about music that I start singing along with whatever I am listening to and later even practise it in my leisure time,” Tumpa, who idolises melody queen Lata Mangeshkar, said.

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