‘Outstanding’ Grade | Masters in Music – Dedicated to my Father, Devinder Pal
By the grace of God, blessings of my parents Ila & Devinder Pal & Gurus & the kind support of my husband Shyam Sharma & student Tushar, I am glad to announce that I have got 9.88 SGPA – OUTSTANDING GRADE AS A MASTERS IN MUSIC!!
I come from a highly academically strong family and my father always wanted me to do my Masters in Music… so I took up the challenge and enrolled in Bharatiya Vidyapeeth university, Pune in 2016.
My rigorous performance career had prepared me to take up challenges, but this was a totally different kettle of fish! The course was intense and expansed the theoretical aspects of Music, its history and development since Bharat Muni’s Natyashastra, to the technical aspects, definitions, aesthetics & development of Dhrupad, Khyaal, Tala Shastra & Ragadari, to Drama, folk music, theatre, Haveli sangeet & the history & developenment of the gharana system to extensive critical analysis of the present time.. While i was allowed to write my exam in English, I only got some basic notes in Marathi, which I had to translate.. Sadly, there were no books in English or Hindi, that could cover the length and breath of the subjects of my course!!
I decided to make the most of my course and additionally read several books, researched for several hours on the internet, interacted with Gunijans like Pt Sudhir Mainkar, Pt. Umesh Moghe & read Biographies of Gangubai Hangal, M.F. Husain, Pt, Ravi Shankarji, Zakirbhai & Sureshji, to gain a deeper insight into the aesthetics and culture of music, its language, expression & intonation. My Performance test included accompanying Kathak & Thumri as well as Tabla soloing in several difficult talas like Pancham Sawari, Rudra Taal, Chaartaal ki Sawari, Dhamar etc.. I really enjoyed taking up the challenge!!
Despite my busy career, riyaaz & concerts around the world, I was fortunate to have the opportunity of serving my father in the hospital for 7 months and attending to my mother at home…between December 2016 to 11th October 2017.
My father had a very tough childhood, being a victim of the horrible partition between India & Pakistan. My grandfather was unfortunately poisoned and my grandmother somehow came to India, through the trauma of the partition to raise her five children, under street lights in Punjab. Being exceptionally hard working and intelligent, my father got scholarships and studied Pharmacy at Benares Hindu University, topping the university!!
Hence I was fortunate to be raised the hard way, with extreme discipline, strong values & principles and lots of love, support and encouragement to do my own thing!! Imagine allowing me- a little girl of seven, to not only learn a difficult instrument like Tabla, but also being guided to perform and travel on my own, undeterred and unafraid in a totally male dominated field!! My father was a super achiever and became the joint M.D of Elder Pharmaceuticals a nd a doyen of the Pharmaceutical industry!! Pappa took me to music concerts since I was a child and always encouraged to buy as much music albums possible, as these were my ‘ textbooks’ and he wanted me to harness my talents, learn & remain humble & rooted..
It has been 8 months since i lost my dearest father Devinder Pal.. but not a minute passes when I don’t miss him.. I pray that he is happy and at peace in heaven..
I humbly dedicate my ‘OUTSTANDING grade – Masters of Music’ to my dearest, respected parents who always inculcated very strong values of professionalism & commitment as cornerstones to success..I love you so much Pappa, for being my respected guide, friend, philosopher, role model and inspiration, leading by example to inspire me towards commitment & excellence!! Thank you so much Pappa.. Wish I could hug you tight…and see your million dollar smile!!