RAAG MALHAR

Music is an integral part of my life, in fact not just mine but music plays a pivotal role in everyone's life. Events are incomplete without music. I have fond memory of my grandfather listening to Amin Sayani's Binaca Geetmala on the radio.  And when I got a chance of a photo-session with a music practitioner, I was over the moon !

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Shalmalee with her Swarmandala

Shalmalee Joshi has been doing her *riyaaz for almost her entire lifetime. The entire family follows a rigourous musical lifestyle and I was amazed to see that they don't even have a television and don't feel the need for it.

Their entire house is full of musical things and things that hold meaning to them. Every article in the house has a story behind it.

When I first went to see her, her only brief was that she is looking for pictures that will show a blend of music & nature. She says that nature inspires her more than anything else !

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Follower of *Jaipur Atrauli Gharana, Shalmalee has given many performances at Mehrangarh Fort at the Jaipur annual music festivals.

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Shalmalee is newly training herself under one of very eminent singers from Jaipur on a very special project. I hope to document that too !

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I can't help but be amazed and in awe of her and they way she has trained herself musically. I also got a chance to relish on a native delicacy made by her and it re-instills my faith in "you are what you eat".

I have these photographs so close to my heart not just because of her but also the kind of person she is.  She just has so many many stories to tell, right from her Himalayan adventures where she sang for everyone atop the mountain in freezing degrees to singing for the royal family of Jaipur.

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These two happen to be my favourite photographs.

None other than Mr. Rai's work was an absolete inspiration for this.

These photographs were edited while listening to Shruti Sadolikar & Kishori Amonkar's "Sahela Re".

I am more than humbled to be able to meet her and listen to her stories and hope for a chance to document her more.

I really hope these pictures inspire you to at least go listen to your favourite piece of music.

*riyaaz ~ Riyaaz is an Urdu language term used for music practice, for honing of Hindustani classical music vocal as well as instrument skills. It is followed rigorously by the students as well as exponents of vocal as well as dancing forms.

*Jaipur Atrauli Gharana ~ The Jaipur-Atrauli gharana (also known as the Jaipur Gharana, Atrauli-Jaipur Gharana, and Alladiyakhani Gharana) is a Khayal-based stylized singing family-hood (gharana), founded by Ustad Alladiya Khan (1855–1946) in the late 19th century. His family belonged to Atrauli near Aligarh, and subsequently migrated to Jaipur, giving the gharana its name.