Dare to be: The challenging journey of singer Sonam Kalra

SheThePeople.TV in partnership with Penguin-Random House presents Dare To Be,stories of successful women, this excerpt is of singer Sonam Kalra

STP Editor
Jul 25, 2016 10:25 IST
sonam kalra, singer

Dare To Be! Stories of successful women who decided to go with their gut and goals and make a real living off their passions against all odds. Rinku Paul and Puja Singhal have put together narratives of 15 such trailblazers in a book. SheThePeople.TV in partnership with Penguin-Random House presents excerpts of this upcoming showcase. Here’s an excerpt on sufi singer Sonam Kalra whose Sufi Gospel project brings together artists of different faiths.


Sonam Kalra Excerpt

It did not however turn out to be a fairy tale beginning to Sonam’s musical career. What must be a singer’s worst fear was realized, when she lost her singing voice for almost a year to laryngitis and a series of throat infections, soon after quitting her job. Any other person might have been crushed by this impediment and chosen to return to their well-paying job, but Sonam is made of sterner stuff.

An opportunity to anchor The Real India Travel Show at BBC gave Sonam the break she was looking for at this time and she took up the role with her usual panache. This was followed by other anchoring stints including Musafir Hoon Yaaron on Star Plus. The most fun part of her television career, though, came when as the host of the BBC show Wheels, she got the opportunity to test drive the swankiest of cars, effectively junking all stereotypes related to women and machines in the process. There is more than a hint of pride in her voice as she recounts an episode when she was pitted in a race against the famous rally driver Nikhil Taneja, who ended up complimenting her on her tremendous control and driving skills. With a mischievous smile, she goes on to mention how as a result of this show, no one dares say anything derogatory about women drivers in her presence!


Her voice fully recovered by now, Sonam once again devoted herself to music, travelling extensively for stage shows and concerts with her guru, Shubha Mudgal. The peaceful routine of her world, however, was shattered when her mother, whom she looked upon as her best friend, soulmate and anchor, was diagnosed with cancer.

Author Insights

The sincerity of purpose that is so apparent in Sonam’s singing stands out absolutely unmistakably in her real life persona as well. Meeting Sonam was both a privilege and an honor, the warm welcome accorded by her many dogs an added plus. She is one of the very few who dared to take the plunge to not only carve out a new career niche for herself but also create a whole new genre of music that speaks the universal language of love and faith. While many look up to her extra ordinary journey as an inspiration, as for herself, she confesses that she is “just Sonam trying to be the best that she can be.”


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