In conversation with musician Anuradha Pal

yoshika

Yoshika Sangal | March 22, 2016


#musician   #table player   #On a personal note   #Anuradha Pal   #stree shakti  
Musician Anuradha Pal
Musician Anuradha Pal

Anuradha Pal is a tabla player, multi-percussionist and music composer. She started playing tabla at the age of ten. She has been a disciple of legends like late Ustad Alla Rakha and Zakir Hussain. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Who’s Who Journal of the World and the Limca Book of Records (1991) have listed her as the first professional female tabla player. She is also the youngest and only female Indian musician to have performed at the prestigious Woodstock Festival in 2008 and at the WOMAD Festival in 1999. Apart from live performances, she composes music for short films, documentaries and theatre. The background score she composed for MF Husain’s film Gaja Gamini was highly appreciated.

Being from a family of academicians, what or who influenced you to become a tabla player:
Apart from studies, music, art and culture were an important part of my upbringing. A lot of artists often visited our house. My parents took me to concerts at a very young age. This exposure drew me towards learning classical music.

How did interest in vocal classical music turn into an interest in tabla:
Singing classical music made me realise that I was more inclined towards rhythm. The rhythmic aspect of a song naturally came to me without anyone telling me. Hence, tabla became an adjunct to my singing.

Any challenges:
Initially my teacher refused to teach me as I was a girl and tabla was considered a physically demanding instrument. But that did not stop me. My brother was already a tabla player, so I decided to learn it on my own. After a couple of months, my teacher was surprised to see me play and eventually decided to teach me.

How it feels being in a male-dominated field: When one breaks new ground and establishes a new tradition to existing norms, society does not accept it. People have their hardwired thinking. I have faced discrimination and cynicism. I had to work really hard. I didn’t have any godfather. This industry is hierarchical and I was a new person.

Your inspiration: My audience was a great support. When they come to praise me, I feel all my hard work gets paid off. Girls often tell me that they get inspired by me to pursue their dreams in various fields. This change that I bring in the lives of other people is a big inspiration for me.

Your gurus: To listen to tabla maestros and learn from them was an honour yet it was very difficult. But I thrived on challenge. They have supported me unconditionally. I learnt under the strict ‘guru shishya parampara’ and I feel that this is a brilliant system. You learn not only music but about life and discipline. You learn to deal with many things.

How can women be encouraged to join this field: I feel inspiration doesn’t come just by talking about it. You have to do something. I formed my Stree Shakti band in 1996 so that I could provide a platform to provide equal opportunity to women who are not able to showcase their talent.

Any other passion besides tabla: Wildlife and reading

How do you stay fit: By performing yoga

Favourite production: My original composition of tabla jugalbandhi. It is a combination and synthesis of traditional and contemporary.

Anything you want to change in the world: Violence. People have to find the calm in themselves. I feel music is a binding force. It reduces stress and connects people. I feel that exposure to music should be made compulsory in schools and colleges.

As told to Yoshika Sangal

Comments

 

Other News

Gripping graphic narrative helps make sense of pandemics past

The Moral Contagion By Julia Hauser and Sarnath Banerjee HarperCollins, 140 pages, Rs 699 The world has lar

“Globally, there is unprecedented positivity for India”

Addressing the Viksit Bharat Viksit Uttar Pradesh program in Lucknow on Monday, prime minister Narendra Modi launched 14,000 projects across the state, worth more than Rs 10 lakh crore at the fourth groundbreaking ceremony of UP Global Investors Summit held in February 2023. The projects relate to sectors

World’s biggest bird-a-thon begins in India

During the four days from Feb 16, more than a thousand birdwatchers throughout India are coming together with the goal of documenting as many birds as possible across the country’s diverse locations. Over one lakh birdwatchers globally participate in the annual Great Backyard Bird Coun

Comments sought on Draft Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advt in Coaching Sector

The Central Consumer Protection Authority has sought public comments on the ‘Draft Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisement in Coaching Sector’. The draft guidelines are placed on the website of the Department of Consumer Affairs and are accessible through the link:

Electoral bond scheme unconstitutional: Supreme Court

In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court of India has held the anonymous, unregulated and unlimited funding through electoral bonds and companies as unconstitutional. The five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court comprising chief justice DY Chandrachud and justices Sanjiv Khanna, B

Interim Budget and frontier technology: Sab ka Vikas, Sab ki Technology

The world is at the cusp of a revolution based on Industry 4.0 and green technologies, including AI, big data, IoT, EVs, solar power, etc., which offer developing countries the opportunity to leapfrog into economic prosperity. However, India’s gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) still stands at a mea

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Linkedin Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter