On 2nd March 2017, I had the opportunity to meet and not just meet but also interact with a living classical music legend SHUBHA MUDGAL JI.
Now, Shubha Mudgal ji is very famous in the world of Indian classical music. Shubha Mudgal is not just a brilliant musician but also a humble, sweet, open-minded and forward thinking human being, and this I tell you from experience.
Most of us young Indians don’t know much about us great people such as Shubha Mudgal Ji.Shubha Ji is a well-educated woman who finds herself involved not only in music, but also in fields of social work .She supports radical organizations such as ANHAD, an organization which works towards social progress, secularism and harmony among various religious and regional groups in India, and SAHMAT, which was an earlier organization for similar purposes in memory of SAFDAR HASHMI. Just this shows us how wonderful Shubha Ji’s thinking is and what a wonderful personality I was blessed to meet.
Shubha ma’am was born into an academically inclined family in Allahabad, her mother and father both being professors of English Literature at the Allahabad university. However, they were both deeply interested in Hindustani classical music. Hence, they sent their daughters , Shubha Ji and her sister, to learn KATHAK ; however, KATHAK was not the art form of her interest. It is here that when once Shubha Ji was asked by her guru, “Aap kis gharaane ki Kathak naachti hain? (what is the style/school of Kathak to which you belong?)” and to this Shubha Ji gave her famous reply, “Hum apne gharaane ki Kathak naachte hain (I dance my own style of Kathak)” This shows us how bold Shubha Ji is and how strong she is with her opinion.
Personally, being a young girl of the 21st century, I find that very inspiring that ma’am has such strong opinions and she sticks to them. Most young girls of this new generation dream of establishing a career and being independent and then only do they dream of getting married and starting a life. They aspire to work at a post equal to that of their husbands, and Shubha Ji lives a life-like so with her husband Aneesh Pradhan Ji, a very famous tabla player.
Shubha Ji also deeply inspired me, because despite winning several prestigious prizes such as the Padma Shri in 2000 ; she still values the opinion of all around her be it at any post or a person of any age. At our meeting with Shubha Ji we didn’t only hear her soulful music, but were also given the opportunity to ask ma’am questions that we had in mind. Her responses to those questions were simple and easy to understand.Ma’am also answered directly and to the point.
Shubha Ji is also very well-known because she was one of the first Hindustani classical singers who sang rock and pop, her music also topped the charts. This achievement of ma’am proves the saying , “That the one can sing Indian classical can easily adopt any other form of music.”
I mean to write about such artist there will books and books, but I would like to leave you to do all that reading.
Now, I would like to share more of my experience from this meeting. Shubha ma’am walked in and then being such a well known artist she still used the traditional ways like sitting on the floor asking for permission from her audience and the other artists who were accompanying her , ma’am even asked permission from our sir before starting. These values that maam has practised from the very beginning of her career are the ones that have brought her this far. Ma’am is definitely gifted with great amounts of talent; however many people are gifted with talent as talent is gifted by God. From these talented people those succeed who put in hard work, practise and have these core values. This is the thought with which I would like to leave you today.
I would also like to share a few links to Shubha ma’am’s work:-
Ab Ke Saawan Aise Barse:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLzDlKSMKY0
A little more classical( if you would like to try) :-
Raag Bhimpalasi:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh8QfWlSv9Q
I also found a very interesting interview of Shubha Ji