Hindustani vocalist Kalapini Komkali carries a lot of responsibility. After all, taking forward the legacy of the legendary Hindustani classical singer Kumar Gandharva is not an easy task. But she does, and makes it seem effortless.
At Rituraj Mehfil, Songs Of Spring, which was organised by Sanskar and the Secunderabad Club, Kalapini’s voice filled the evening with sweet notes.
Despite being one of the biggest names in the Hindustani classical music scene, she is very grounded. She laughs as she says, “I wanted to concentrate on my studies and music wasn’t on my mind. In fact, I started learning music much later, when I was in school.”
Growing up in the shadow of a famous father was not easy. “There was a lot of pressure about creating a name for myself and simultaneously not letting the name of the family down,” she says, adding, “It was tough, but I think that’s the way life is. And I would like to look at this responsibility as a blessing.”
Many associate Kalapini with her father, but the fact also remains that it was her mother Vasundhara who helped her bond better with him.
“Baba was more of my guru. His role as a dad helped me a lot, but we learnt early on that he was so into his music that he was always a musician first. It was my mother who helped us understand his passion and the fact that he was so passionate about his music. That helped us form a stronger bond with our father,” she explains.
Talking about her first show, she says, “It was back in 1985. I was so stressed and calm at the same time. I was performing with my parents and I knew if I messed up they would cover for me, but it was nerve-wracking. I just can’t explain in words how tough it was for me.”
But there’s more to Kalapini than just ragas and music. And it is very evident when her eyes light up when you ask her what she does other than singing “Oh, I love to cook! There was a time when my mum would get really angry that I would spend so much time in the kitchen, but she made her peace with that.”
Ask her about her future plans and she laughs, “The only future plan is riyaaz, riyaaz and more riyaaz.”...