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Wind beneath their wings

DECCAN CHRONICLE | ANISHA DHIMAN
Published Dec 1, 2015, 4:21 am IST
Updated Mar 26, 2019, 10:01 pm IST
Madhura Pandit Jasraj and the unique identity she has carved for herself
Madhura with her daughter Durga and her husband Pandit Jasraj
 Madhura with her daughter Durga and her husband Pandit Jasraj
Living in the shadows of legends, Madhura Pandit Jasraj is a figure of quiet grace. For years now, she has been quietly working behind the scenes, making one wonder what possibly could stand out in a lady who is known primarily for the two famous men in her life — her father, pioneer film director V. Shantaram, and her husband, classical vocalist Pandit Jasraj.
 
That’s until one sits down with Madhura for a conversation. Author of the recently released The Man Who Changed Indian Cinema, which is based on her father, Madhura loves to write and has already written “four to five scripts complete with dialogues”.
 
Previously, she had written another autobiography on her father, which was then made into a documentary — Portrait of a Pioneer. She has directed and produced numerous dance ballets and is also known for her cooking and her recipes are used in the menus of the US-based establishment Breads of India and Gourmet Curries. “I am supposed to be in the background it’s almost necessary,” says Madhura, who is in the city for the 43rd Pandit Motiram Pandit Maniram Sangeet Samaroh, one that her husband has been organising in the memory of his father and brother since 1972. 
Day One saw Madhura, also a trained classical singer, perform on stage in a tribute performance to her father. “After I got married, I sang for 10 years and then stopped. I was only told about the performance two days back... I am glad people enjoyed it.”
 
Talking about her earlier days, Madhura say, “Jasraj travelled extensively; there had to be someone at home to look after the children. And how Jasraj spoiled the kids! On Diwali, he would burst crackers till 2.30 am along with the kids. Masti wala aadmi... He is 85 now, he is tired. Earlier he used to crack a lot of jokes, but now he is quiet.”
 
On Monday morning, Madhura dutifully accompanied her husband as he paid obeisance at Pandit Motiram’s Samadhi in Amberpet, one he never forgets to miss on the latter’s death anniversary on November 30.
 
Married to Pandit Jasraj for 54 years, Madhura admits that despite her enthusiasm to work, she can’t go out in the market. “I can’t approach someone to let them work with me that will be beyond my husband’s dignity," says Madhura. And though she continues to write, “watch nonsense on TV” and spend more time with Pandit Jasraj, she is happy spending time with her grandchildren. “I don’t regret the opportunities that I let go off and missed. My father’s rule of thumb while editing films was ‘Don’t fall in love with your subject, edit as if it’s your enemy’. I have spent time with two most incredible men, Pandit Jasraj and V. Shantaram, and that’s the part I would never edit out.”
 

 

 

 

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