Shubhada’s music — a blend of three styles
By MOHAN NADKARNI
The Economic Times, December 11, 1988
Sbubhada Paradkar’s Sangeet Sabha last week-end was clearly reflective of a welcome and significant trend in Hindustani music which, given certain conditions, may well protect and perpetuate the true spirit of the fast-fading parampara ideology.
In other words, eclecticism is the new trend whose validity ahs been already brought home by some of our presentday top-notchers like Jitendra Abhisheki and Malini Rajurkar. They have convincingly shown us how a vocalist can retain his or her traditional moorings even while being electic in outlook and approach.
Happily, the tribe is steadily but surely increasing. Listening to Sbubhada’s concert recital for the first time, I was left in little doubt that she was qualified to find her rightful place in the line-up of the brilliant younger generation of vocalists in the new genre like Padma Talwalkar, Veena Sahasrabhuddhe and Ulhas Kashalkar, to name but a few.
Shy, petite Shubhada is a commerce graduate and a housewife and mother, too. It speaks of her devotion to classical music for which she developed a passion from her childhood. She received her initial training from R. D. Potdar of the Kirana gharana and later from Madhusudan Joshi of the Agra gharana, both at Baroda.
The final touch to her evolving style was lent by the late Gajananrao Joshi, the veteran vocalist and violinist who was basically an exponent of the Gwalior gharana, but who also benefitetd from maestros of the Agra and Atrauli-Jaipur gharanas like Vilayat Hussain Khan and Bhurji Khan. She added academic distinction to her pursuit by taking a first class Master’s degree in music, from SNDT University.
Frail of body but buoyant in spirit. Shubhada began with an elaborate Shree, followed by a briefer rendition in Tilak Kamod. Then came a vigorous tappa composition in Mishra Khamaj. All these were marked by verve and animation.
The post-interval fare of her three-hour programme covered Chhayant, Bahar, a brief Marathi pad, with a Bhairavi, in drut and tarana, to round off.
It is not necessary to make a detailed comment on individual presentations. For, apart from her extremely well cultivated voice, the repertoire revealed many felicities of tone, style and rhythm – she was equally at ease with the variety of her ragas and taals alike – her singing was emotionally fulfilling and intellectually appealing. Besides, she exuded her tremendous tayyari in most of her raga renderings. But one must say that her tappa and pad made a less abiding impact.
The harmonium sangat came from her husband, Satish Paradkar. Paradkar is a senior government officer but the total involvement he showed in his accompaniment came as a testiomony of his apt partnership with his wife in her musical pursuit. Shrikant Phadke, a youngster, was no less alert and responsive as he played his tabla in accord with Shubhada’s singing.
Finally, it is commendable that institutions like the Bandra Sangeet Sabha have maintained the lead in discovering and projecting young and deserving talent on its concert platform. It is time major music circles emulated this fine example, rather than going after high-priced artistes.