Kohl-lined eyes, trademark tikka, minimal accessories, elegant sari, hair neatly plaited and an ear-to-ear smile, quite unlike her multi-layered music, Shubha Mudgal the person is plain and understated. But put her before the mike and she at once acquires a striking persona. It’s all in her full-throated voice. It’s the voice with a cross-generational appeal. It’s the voice that comfortably traverses genres. It’s the voice that oozes sensuousness and emotion in the switch of a tune. So, you can hear a classical thumri or dadra, a hard-rocking “Ab ke saawan”, the resonant “Ali more angana” or a moving “Pyar ke geet”.
Shubha has done extensive research in ancient and medieval music, particularly bhakti sahitya to know how it can guide and add depth to sangeet. “Because when I started learning I was told that music and devotion are synonymous. That’s why Indian music is meditative and soothing. This is one of the reasons why I took diksha into a Krishna sect. The importance they give to music is absolutely moving. They make two kinds of offerings to the Lord – bhog seva and raga seva. This tikka, which many see as a stylised bindi, is a symbol of belonging to this group,” says this first generation musician, whose parents taught English at the Allahabad University.
Though her world revolves around melody, she is an avid sari collector and a foodie, who savours all kinds of vegetarian preparations. Khana or gaana, Shubha Mudgal prefers a delicious variety.
She has conceptualized this year’s very famous play in TheaterFest “Stories In a Song”. Fourthwall salutes her for her great contribution to the world of Music and Musical Theatre on the occasion of *TheaterFest 2012.*