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Anuradha Pal Creates Tabla Magic

Last updated on: October 13, 2022 13:12 IST
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At the tender age of nine, she shook the work of percussion with her mastery over the tabla.

Today, Anuradha Pal is acknowledged by the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Limca Book Of Records as the world's first professional lady tabla player.

Anuradha performed at Mumbai's iconic Royal Opera House last week to celebrate the International Day Of The Girl Child.

The event, Stree Shakti: Anuradha Pal's Tablas Tell Stories, was organised by Avid Learning, the consulate of Canada in Mumbai and the NGO, Akshara Centre.

Anuradha, who wasn't keeping well, didn't let her ill health affect her performance.

Anuradha Pal in action.

IMAGE: Anuradha Pal in action. All photographs and videos: Hitesh Harisinghani/

The evening began with a poem, His Daughter After All, written by Anuradha Pal's mother, Ila Pal.

The poem, voiced by actor Raja Sevak, is about the outcome of forced child marriage.



Anuradha's performance celebrated the challenges she has faced, and her hard-won triumphs.

She begins by looking back at herself as a little girl, unwilling -- like most children her age -- to get up early to go to school.


She then looks at her married life, the little nok-jhoks that happen and how the couple move past it as they walk the marital path together.


Anuradha pays tribute to the legendary Shobha Gurtu's Rangi Sari Chunariya. Joining her on the vocals is Gauri Pathare; Tushar Raturi helms the keyboard and Varsha Panwar, the harmonium.


Anuradha Pal performs the Navdurga, using nine different percussion instruments like the Pakhawaj, Djembe, Darbuka, Bongo, Handsonic, Udukku, Kanjira, Udu and, of course, her tablas.


More glimpses from the event:

IMAGE: Anuradha performs with her student, Tushar Raturi.


IMAGE: Anuradha with Gauri Pathare and Varsha Panwar.


IMAGE: Anuradha's tablas get a feminist hue.

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