Everyone loves music and Bollywood must be most people’s favourite. But there is another form of music which is very soothing and really meaningful and that is Ghazals which not many people, especially the younger generation, are well acquainted with. And even though most singers today are more into Bollywood music, there are still a few singers who work really hard to reach out to people through their beautiful ghazals.

On today’s show I was joined by the amazing singer and music composer Roopkumar Rathod and his beautiful and equally talented wife Sunali Rathod. They just recently completed 25 years of togetherness and are still the perfect description of a young couple who have just fallen in love. They met in the 80s when Roopkumar Rathod was playing the tabla and Sunali rathod was in the audience, It was love at first sight said Roopkumar Rathod.

Working together for so many years they have had their share of creative differences as well. A lot of times Rookumar composes some tune that Sunali outright. Roopkumar is someone who likes to work till late into the night and whenever he composes a tune he wakes her from her sleep just to get her opinion and it’s a nightmare for Sunali because she is a morning person. He makes many tunes for a song and then as a family all of them decide which tune is the best.

They spoke about the first album ‘’Ishara’’ that they did together. He said that making the album was like bringing up a baby. The memories are so beautiful and so fresh till date. The album was a collection of all the memories of the time that they had spent together. ‘’Woh meri mohabbat ka guzra zamana’’ was the beautiful ghazal from that album that Roopkumar Rathod sang for us in the studio.  I had listened to the ghazal many times before but hearing him sing it live was an amazing experience. Sunali Rathod also sang beautiful ghazals for us in the studio including a Sufi Ghazal ‘’ Kalma’’.

Many people called in with their compliments and requests for many different songs including many famous Bollywood songs performed by Roopkumar Rathod and he gallantly sang for everyone who called and even after the show ended he sang a couple of songs for the crew.

Roopkumar Rathod said that there is a dearth of promotions for Ghazals. Nowadays few people use a CD and listen to music online but he feels that there are still some people who like having a collection of CDs. Roopkumar strongly feels that having collections of music is a prized possession.

Sunali felt that the youth today is not very well versed with ‘’Urdu’’ or ‘’Hindi’’ and Ghazals is mainly about the meaningful lyrics. She feels that making the Ghazals different, using a variety of musical instruments rather than only the traditional ones will help attract people to this beautiful form of music especially the younger generation. She also feels that in the reality shows people should try to include ghazals as part of the competition.

Their latest album ‘’Zikra Tera’’ was released a few months back and unlike most people they have released a CD of the album. It is considered a bold move by many but Sunali feels that it’s a passionate move rather than a bold one. As an artist they want to release music that’s close to their hearts and they don’t believe in just looking at the commercial aspect of the album. Roopkumar Rathod said that they feel nice to gift the physical copy of an album to their near and dear ones rather than asking people to listen to it on the online platform. They have also incorporated a booklet with the meaning of all the Ghazals in the album.

Sunali spoke about the second album ‘’khushboo’’ that they had done together in which she sang the song ‘’Kamale zapt ko khud bhi to azmaungi mai apne haath se uski dulhan sajaungi’’. She also spoke about the time when Shabana Azmi playfully said to her that a modern woman should not be singing such a song.

Sunali said that she comes from a business family which has nothing to do with music. She was a natural singer from the start and then luckily she got Pandit Hridayanath Mangeshkar as a guru. She learnt her music from the first family of Bollywood but after learning for a couple of years she became more passionate about classical music rather than Bollywood. She said that she loves performing live the most and music has now become the most important part of her life whereas Roopkumar Rathod said that music runs in his family. Her father Chaturbhuj Rathod was a classical singer.

Roopkumar Rathod always loved playing the tabla and performed all around the world and never thought he would become a singer and leave playing the tabla. He said once his father was performing and one of his Shagirds who played the tanpura sitting behind him during the show could not be present for the show. Roopkumar Rathod offered to play the tanpura in his place. His father started singing and after a while he asked him to join in. Being the son of such a great singer the audience expected him to sing and he was unable to do so. That’s when he decided that since none of his brothers wanted to sing, to make his father happy and to carry forward the family’s tradition he would become a singer. He started to learn singing after that.

We also spoke about their daughter Rewa who wanted to become singer from the start. She has always loved music and has learnt Carnatic music and is also learning classical music from the renowned classical vocalists Pandit Rajan Mishra and Pandit Saajan Mishra.

Roopkumar Rathod said that performing in different languages is a challenge and sometimes the words turn out to be tongue twisters. Especially when singing in South Indian languages like Tamil Telugu or Kannada. He said that having a good music director is very important to sing in a different language so as to get the pronunciations right.

Roopkumar Rathod said that those who aspire to become a singer or composer usually follow someone just like he did in his early days. But he stressed that people should not blindly follow anyone.

I had an amazing time talking to Roopkumar and Sunali Rathod!!!