Delighting with the Thumri-Dadra

Delighting with the Thumri-Dadra

Her husky,melodious voice does not really need any introduction. Her Sanwariya dekh jara is ore from the film Sardari Begam was a hit song.

Singer Shubha Joshi was recognised by the state government,after decades of soulful singing

Her husky,melodious voice does not really need any introduction. Her Sanwariya dekh jara is ore from the film Sardari Begam was a hit song.

Still,the low profile Shubha Joshi,60,never thought the state government of Maharashtra would recognise her work with an award for her semi classical music. Earlier this month,Minister of State for cultural affairs Harshvardhan Patil gave her the award at a glittering function at the Savitribai Phule auditorium,Dombivli.

For Joshi,music is everything. “Music gives me strength to fight negative thoughts and depression. When I start singing,all other things disappear,” she says.


Joshi started learning classical music at the age of 12,with the blessings of her father N B Joshi who wanted to make her a classical singer. She still remembers her first performance.

“In 1970,on the occasion of Krishna Ashtami,in a private programme at Mumbai,I sang a thumri. People appreciated the programme and it got publicity in a newspaper. I was thrilled.”

Holding a master’s degree in music from SNDT college,Joshi has lent her voice to several music directors,including Jaidev,Jagjit Singh,Vanraj Bhatia,Ashok Patki,Ram Kadam,Shiv-Hari,Sapan Jagmohan and A R Rahman. Among the films she has sung for are Sardari Begam,Suraj Ka Satwaan Ghoda,Kalka,Tum Laut Aao,Aakrit,Ardhangi and Saheban.

“When I started singing,I began to enjoy filmy songs. But my father wanted me to become a classical singer. I started singing under the tutelage of Pt Amberkar of the Bhendi Bazar Gharana and Pt Ramesh Nadkarni and Master Navrang. Then I learnt Thumri Dadra from Shobha Gurtu and learnt ghazals from Ustad Taj Ahmed Khan.” For rendering ghazals well,she also learnt Urdu,also learning music from Ninu Mazumdar and Kaumudi Munshi.

She has sung for television serials too: Jan-e-alam,Buniyad,Amanat,Ajnabee,Discovery of India,etc. She participated in prestigious classic music conferences like the Savai Gandharva Sammelan in Pune and Kundgol,the Pt Vishnu Digambar Paluskar Punyatithi in Delhi and other meets in Ichalkaranji,Amravati,Rajkot,Indore and Ujjain,apart from performances in Hongkong,Kenya,Los Angeles,Austin,etc.

“I am happy to get the Maharashtra state government award,which I never expected,” she says,grateful for the appreciation.

“Long ago,I went with my Guru Ustad Taj Ahmed Khan for a function at Anjuman Islam college. When I was singing a ghazal,chief guest Dilip Kumar sahib reached there. To give him respect,I stopped singing,but he asked me not to stop singing and did not come forward to sit. He listened to the entire ghazal standing there. Later,he said: Isko kahte hain ghazal. His words echo in my ears even today.