A Diet of Music

Meena Faterpekar, vocalist and the great granddaughter of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, believes in evolving with the music, as well as cooking to relieve stress

Meena Faterpekar is a part of a musical lineage that not many can boast of. Great granddaughter of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, the legendary founder of the Kirana gharana, she is also the granddaughter of the legendary artistes Saraswatibai Rane and Hirabai Badodekar.

The 44-year-old singer who now lives in Kothrud, Pune, studied music under the tutelage of her grandmother, Rane, at a young age. "I have always been listening to, and learning music. I don't remember a time when there was no music in my life," says Faterpekar, who specialises in pure classical music as well as its softer counterparts such as bhavgeet, natyasangeet, bhajans and thumri.

Interestingly, Faterpekar began and ended her career in mainstream Indian music when she was six-years-old. This was the time when she sang for Shyam Benegal's Bhumika: The Role in 1977 that starred Smita Patil, Amol Palekar and Anant Nag. "That was probably the only time I tried mainstream music," says Faterpekar, adding that she now prefers to stay away from it.

Even though Faterpekar practices the Kirana gharana of music, she says that it is important for a musician to listen to, and understand what the other musicians practice. "I try to get inspiration from different gharanas as well as different musicians. While on one hand one must not change the framework or your own gharana, but there is no harm in experimenting," she says. Faterpekar, who performed at the Sawai Gandharva festival yesterday, performed ragas as well as lighter bhajans apart from natyasangeet. It's her fourth year at the festival.

Apart from music, her other passion in life is cooking. "I love cooking — be it baking or desserts," says the foodie. She says that cooking for her family acts as a stress-buster after her hectic travels and concerts. She now hopes that her 20-year-old daughter who is currently studying for her CA, will carry the family's musical legacy forward.

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