Kolkata, West Bengal, India
It was only natural for Haimanti Sukla to take to singing, for her father, Late Pt. Harihar Sukla himself was a devoted classical vocalist in the fine tradition of Late Pt. Girija Sankar Chakraborty. Haimanti grew under the watchful eyes of her father who taught her everything about Indian classical music. And she learnt fast. She did her first recording in 1970. She took training from Pt. Chinmay Lahiri. Even before she earned a Union Government scholarship on Indian classical music in 1971, she was a regular name in the artistes' list at AIR. She rendered Kheyal, Thumri, Bhajans, Rabindra Sangeet, Nazrul Geeti, Kirtan, Adhunik and many more. She did her first playback in film songs in 1974 under guidence of Shyamal Mitra. She achieved the prestigeous Sangeet Praveen (M. Muse) before reaching twenty. Haimanti developed a unique blend of classical seriousness and lively charm. She always tends to improvise and experiment, to explore the unexplored. Singing to the tunes of the likes of Ustad Alla Rakha and Naushad, she has been exposed to a wide variety of styles that have helped her mature as a singer. Great composers like Hemanta Mukherjee, Salil Chowdhury and Manna Dey have scored memorable music for her. She has sung a number of film and basic songs composed by Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. Recipient of several BFJA (Bengal FIlm Journalists' Association) awards, she also received a Sur Sringer Academy award for her song in Chasme Baddoor in 1981. She was awarded the Mian Tansen Award in 1975 and the Pramatesh Barua Puraskar before that. In a career that spans several decades, Haimanti Sukla has rendered countless songs in Bengali and has also sung a number of songs in different regional languages like Oriya, Gujrati, Punjabi and Assamese and the Bhojpuri dialect. A chance rendered to her by her Patron Pulak Bandhyapadhyay and the famous singer Manna Dey. The song was supposed to be sung by Manna Dey himself but he made way for this budding singer and the song "Aamar bolaar kichu chilo na" became an instant hit and is still a very popular number. Haimanti Shukla did utmost justice to the song and made it an ever green score. It was her magical voice and her undiminished sincerity in music that she became a favorite of the likes of musical maestros Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pt Ravi Shankar, Pt Bhimsen Joshi, Ustad Alla Rakha Khan and Naushad. Apart from these exponents of classical music , great composers like Hemanta Mukherjee, Salil Chaudhuri and Manna Dey scored memorable music for her. She has got a number of film and non-films songs to her credit. Haimanti Shukla has a history of so many decades of a successful musical profession. Yet she is considered to be one of the modern singers of today. Her profound classical training and penchant for variety has earned her sustained appreciation at home and abroad. From Classical Music to Modern songs - she performs it with a seemingly effortless manner that has made her so popular among all classes of music lovers. Whether a bhajan or a ghazal, she can bring out the soul value of the temperamentally different genres of vocal music. An MA in Bengali literature from Rabindra Bharati University, Haimanti Sukla lives and works in Kolkata. Some of her recent live performances are, Classical Music conference at Barasat and Golf Green, Kolkata, 16th Sangitacharya Radhika Mohan Maitreya Memorial Music Conference, Kolkata, Pandit Vijay Kichlu Sangeet Ashram, Kolkata, Dover Lane Music Conference, Kolkata, Kheyal & Thumri at Kalamandir, Kolkata, organised by Indo Occidental Symbiosis.