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Song sung blue, no longer with a catch in his voice

Animesh Sarma with Pritam after his selection in the audition

Guwahati: Stammering has not stopped Animesh Sarma from Rangiya in Assam from realising his dream of becoming a professional singer.

He cleared the first hurdle by becoming part of the Star Plus reality show Dil Hai Hindustani Season 2 after clearing the audition held recently.

Animesh, 24, began stammering when he was around five.

"It is the side effect of typhoid that Animesh suffered. Due to lack of treatment, he began to stammer. Moreover, the sudden death of his uncle, a pet parrot and his grandfather on one after another intensified his stammering. But it took us by surprise to know that he sings without stammering. This is simply magic, a natural gift or rather, his ardent love for music," his father Ashim Sarma, a retired employee of Indian Railways, said.

Every member of the family is musically inclined. His aunt, a student of Nilima Khatun, was a very good singer in the mid-seventies who lost her life during the Assam Movement.

His uncle Ashish, who was very dear to him, launched Sargam Kala Niketan in Rangiya. Animesh was trained by him when he was only three.

His mother Chhabi takes classical music classes at their home and his father teaches music in the school founded by Ashish. Animesh's brother Arghadeep is a good tabla player.

"I realised that I stammer when I was studying in Class I, but I was sure about it when I started attending Bihu functions in our locality. After attending many such functions, I realised that interacting with the audience is equally important. This probably left me worried despite my god-gifted ability to sing without pause," said Animesh who is recognised as a bisharad (expert) in classical music by Bhatkhande Sangeet Vidyapith in Lucknow.

"Besides being a singer, I always aspired to become a sound engineer for which I chose science at the higher secondary level in Rangia College. I secured a job under the logistics department of a private firm in Mumbai after graduating from the Godavari Institute of Engineering and Technology in Andhra Pradesh.

"To my utter surprise, I was fired from my job. I realised that my stammering. could be the reason for getting sacked. I took time to deal with people, but they did not have that much time to listen to me. Music has always been a guiding force. After getting selected in an audition for the first time, I started working as a regular employee with a handsome salary for music director Pritam Chakraborty. I am overjoyed. Pritam da is like god to me who came to help me in such a situation. Apart from being focussed on singing, now I can also revive my dream of becoming a sound engineer."

Before this, Animesh took part in the audition of Voice of India and, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Bangla and participated twice in Indian Idol. His guru Ravi Shankar helped build his confidence..

"Animesh was also a good and obedient student who would participate in most of the school programmes. He used to lead in some programmes," said principal of Sankardev Shishu Niketan, Rangiya, Dilip Lahkar. Animesh was his student for 12 years.

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