A young Kashmiri musician Noor Mohammad, popularly known as 'Sahil Santoor', hailing from Wathora village of central Kashmir's Budgam district, is an artist who has had a journey of ups and downs.
He always had an inclination towards music. During his childhood, two friends of Sahil were learning music from Master Mohammad Ismail Bhat who was a well-known Sufiyana maestro. Sahil joined music classes along with them and felt an inclination towards music. He says, "I started Sufi music with the local instrument of Kashmir, Saaj-e-Kashmir and later till 2012, I played the dholki. Following that, I started playing Santoor."
However, Sahil faced many challenges to reach this level and his journey was very difficult.
Sahil got a scholarship from Jammu Academy and also got a chance to play Santoor in musical events. He earned another prestigious scholarship in acting from the Centre for Cultural Resource Training (CCRT) in New Delhi. After developing an interest in this art, Sahil did his master's degree from the Music and Fine Arts Department, University of Kashmir.
Talking about his struggles, Sahil says, "There were a lot of problems in the beginning. When I initially started learning, I bought a guitar but my brothers did not allow music to be played at home. After that, I took a room on rent and used to keep my instruments there. This went on for 4-5 years."
After completing his degree, he has played Santoor in almost all states of the country over the past several years. Following his great performances, he has also received awards and appreciation from all quarters.
Sahil has a message from the Kashmiri youth, "I want that the youth of Kashmir learns to play Santoor as it is a Kashmiri instrument and tomorrow, if he goes to other states and country, we can take our culture forward with us. Also, there should be support for it. Whenever I go out of state to perform, I receive a lot of love and respect. Last time, Sajid bhai (music composer) came for a performance and he loved me. He said you are so talented."
Sahil can play any Kashmiri folk or Bollywood song on his Santoor and can perform his skills in front of a large audience. People love to listen to the smooth tunes of Santoor.
He has been getting positive responses from people and the upcoming months are already booked for different events. Apart from Kashmir, he has also got bookings from Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and other cities in India. Sahil has performed his Santoor at The Lalit Grand Palace hotel in Srinagar and other prominent hotels. Besides, he will also be performing in live concerts. (ANI)