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News |  13 Sep 2019 15:16 |  By RnMTeam

My stories draw inspiration from the world of Indian music: Shubha Mudgal

MUMBAI: Even as a debut author, its all about music for classical vocalist-music composer Shubha Mudgal, whose musical journey had set sail in Allahabad with lessons in Kathak.

What's new? Her first collection of short stories “Looking for Miss Sargam: Stories of Music and Misadventure" that has recently launched.

Mudgal, a 2000 Padma Shri recipient, has been writing on music for a long time, but the novel, which took over four years, is her first-ever attempt at fiction. Creating waves in musical as well as literary circles, the book is being hailed as a refreshing piece of writing from an industry insider.

"My stories draw inspiration from the world of Indian music, which is a space I have inhabited and explored all through my life," Mudgal, 60, told IANSlife in an email interview.

Some of her characters are: An Indian musician who flies from Pune to Philadelphia for a foreign tour, two-star musicians who are brought together for a peace concert between India-Pakistan, and the mysterious Miss Sargam whom no one hears anymore but everyone remembers.

On how her process looked like, Mudgal said that she began by creating a plot.

"This was followed by creating sketches of the main characters, deciding how old they would be, what they would wear, what they looked like, how they spoke or sang. Once I had the characters in place, I would start working on the story again, adding details in the narrative and I decided on the conclusion more or less instinctively."

The singer lives in Delhi with spouse Aneesh Pradhan, a noted Tabla player. Together, they have established an online distribution platform for musicians of diverse forms of Indian music through

Asked if the duo riyaaz (practice) together or break into impromptu musical sessions, Mudgal said, "While it is absolutely fabulous to have a life partner who is an accomplished musician and scholar, riyaaz demands solitude and therefore both of us have our respective, solitary riyaaz sessions.

"At other times, we do sit together for riyaaz and for trying out compositions," she added.

Mudgal has been a student of Thumri -- a blend of Indian classical music and folk narratives for almost four decades now. As a child in Allahabad, she began her training in music not as a student of vocal music, but as a student of Kathak which is also "inextricably linked with the art of Thumri.

"It is from Kathak that I transitioned towards studying vocal music," she had earlier told IANS.

However, the skill of keen listening, learned early, has come handy all along as she was encouraged by parents to "attend recitals and listen carefully".

To add to her scope of work, is her involvement with arts education in India.

(Source: IANS)