She teaches Hindustani music in Chennai

Getting somebody to teach you Carnatic music in Chennai is not difficult. But Hindustani music? Well! I recently bumped into Tanushree Saha, a middle-class Bengali housewife who not only teaches Hindustani classical music, but also has a wide repertoire – Rabindra Sangeet, Nazrul Geeti and Bengali folk music such as Baul gaan, Bhatiali, Jhukur and Sari gaan. In 2004, Tanushree started her Hindustani classical music classes at her home. As luck would have it, a couple of singers from the Tamil film industry approached her for training; both benefited immensely, one has now turned music director. Their word-of-mouth publicity led to others following. Today, Tanushree, mother of two small children, caters to 25 students, some of whom come from Perambur, Mylapore and Vandalur!

The oldest of three sisters was born in Calcutta and grew up in Beliaghata. Her father K.D. Roy works for Archies Limited. Tanushree studied at the Brahmo Balika Shikshalaya in Rajabazaar up to Class 10. An average student, she was drawn to music and fine arts early and began learning to sing when she was four. Her mother Tripti who sang Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul Geeti at home influenced her. Tanushree learnt Hindustani classical music from Sati Chowdhury and Shipra Sengupta. Chowdhury had sung alongside Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam and D.L. Roy.

Tanushree’s interest in music led her to pursue her bachelor and master’s degrees at the Rabindra Bharati University and at Viswabharati, Santiniketan. She now wants to do a PhD. in Bengali music. I found Prabir Kumar, Tanushree’s husband, very supportive of her.

For those in Madras, Tanushree’s classes are held during 9-11 am and 4-6.30 pm six days a week. She resides in K.K. Nagar’s 4th Sector (Ph: 98844 74691).

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