Entertainment Music 03 Apr 2019 In perfect rhythm an ...

In perfect rhythm and harmony!

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | RUTH PRARTHANA
Published Apr 3, 2019, 12:35 am IST
Updated Apr 3, 2019, 12:35 am IST
Anuradha has just recently launched her new Sufi-Folk classical band called Su-Fo-Re.
Anuradha Pal
 Anuradha Pal

In a country that is known for its male tabla players who have achieved so much here as well as abroad, Anuradha Pal is the first female professional tabla player who has been recognised for her talents here as well as in other countries as well. Not only is she a recipient of the First Ladies Award which was awarded to her by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, her recent song Empower Yourself has been chosen as the theme song for the #NariShakti Campaign. Talking to this connoisseur of music, we find more....

Like every other maestro of music, Anuradha too was introduced to classical music at a young age. She shares, “My parents used to take me to listen to all night Indian classical concerts. Growing up, I used to hear my mother sing for hours and thus I started learning vocal classical music.  I remember, I had asked my brother’s Tabla teacher to teach me, he flatly refused saying, ‘Tabla mardo ka saaz hai.. Tumse nahi hoga!’. I persisted and learnt on my own.” The same tabla teacher who refused her, was stunned when he heard her play. Considering her parents (Ila and Devinder Pal) to be her biggest supporters, this Juhu girl started performing extensively only when she was 13. She shares, “I wanted to become a doctor or an engineer. Thanks to music, I was able to focus, manage and multi-task. But the love of this art pushed me into this stream permanently.”

 

Anuradha mentions that she is inspired by all the great masters as well as her gurus late Ustad Alla Rakha and Ustad Zakir Hussain. Her band, Stree Shakti was founded out of the idea to do something for women who have faced discrimination and nepotism. “I formed the band in order to provide a platform to other talented women and girls, so that they could perform on a level playing field and get equal opportunity, promotion and inclusion into the music industry,” she says adding that the band has played at festivals like WOMAD, Rhythm Sticks Festival and Bangkok International. But gaining the status of India first professional female tabla player would not have been an easy feat to achieve. She reminisces saying, “The journey was difficult because of unfair discrimination, nepotism and chauvinism. The Indian classical music industry is male dominated and is driven by musician families, traditions and hierarchy. The rigorous training and practise regime is what helped me achieve so much.”

Empower Yourself is an anthem that inspires women to unite and empower themselves with education and unity. She says, “It asks them to rise against injustice, discrimination and societal evils. It hopes that women’s justice and inner strength, become the cornerstones of a new strong and progressive India.”

The extended version of Empower Yourself was released on Women’s Day this year. Anuradha received the First Ladies award from the President in 2018. On what the feeling was like receiving this award she says, “ It was a wonderful honour to be escorted into the Rashtrapati Bhawan along with other women contributors from all fields, who have made India proud.” Most of the songs that she comes up with is aimed at empowering women. On how such a serious topic jells with music she shares, “Music speaks where a thousand words fail...’ is a very impactful line that shows the unique ability of music in  speaking one common language of humanity and peace.”

 Anuradha has just recently launched her new Sufi-Folk classical band called Su-Fo-Re. “It will feature a confluence of Carnatic Krithis fused with Rajasthani folk songs, hindustani bandishes and world percussion,” she adds.

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