New Delhi: Musicians today, prisoners of yesterday, their band is quite fittingly called Naya Savera, and it truly is a new morning for Sunil Maida, Ashish Sharma and Shoib Khan as they leave behind the past and drum up melodic dreams for the future.
And just like different sounds blend into a tune, Maida from Rajasthan, Sharma from Uttar Pradesh and Khan from Madhya Pradesh, all in their 20s, together make music, performing at various venues across the country, including the World Music Festival in Udaipur and many prisons.
It all began when they swapped stories at the Udaipur Central Jail where all three were serving time – Maida and Khan for theft, and Sharma for cheating and assault.
Once part of a gang of thieves and goons in Chittorgarh, Khan said he would often think of ways to become a bigger “gangster” behind bars. But after he started learning the guitar, his outlook towards life changed so much that he stayed back in the prison for an extra year even though he was offered bail to improve his music skills. “This life and that life are starkly different from each other. Now I feel my music is the only best thing for me and that I can do really great things in this direction. The way people look at me now has changed, I feel respected,” the 21-year-old guitarist told PTI.
Khan’s life could have steered in an entirely opposite direction if it weren’t for music, he said. The youngest in the trio, 21-year-old Khan learned to play the guitar and improved upon his vocals inside the prison. Recounting the turmoil of his life so far, Khan said he was arrested for petty crimes and tortured by the police. “This led me to think… why not do something big if I am going to get beaten up anyway. This emotion only got stronger with time….” In 2021, it changed when Naya Savera was formed, giving him and his two partners new meaning in life. Today, the troika proudly belts out popular Hindi songs as professional artistes in their evocatively named band, giving shape to their new beginnings away from a world of crime. Maida, too, wanted to something “big” in the crime scene under the tutelage of more hardened and wizened criminals in the prison. He would spend hours with fellow inmates planning their big operation after getting out. And then one day, when he was sitting inside his cell, his reverie was broken by the sweet sound of music. A curious Maida discovered to his surprise a group of fellow inmates learning different types of musical instruments at Swaraj University inside the jail, an initiative by Udaipur-based NGO Shikshantar.
(This story has not been checked by JK Mega and is auto-generated from other sources)