How music made life richer and fuller for singer Pamela Singh

Ever since Pamela Singh and her family shifted base to Gurgaon, her house in Sector 27 has been a 'camp site', a base touched upon frequently to relive and refresh old cherished memories, and create new ones too.

A singer who retired as the head of the Music Department, Government College for Girls Sector 11, in 2002 and the lead singer for Neelam Man Singh Chowdhry's repertory The Company, Singh is back in town for an evening of ghazal gayaki at the Pracheen Kala Kendra as part of its 180th Monthly Baithak Programme.

It is a tribute to Begum Akhtar. "There will be Mallika Pukhraj's ghazals too and I will also sing my compositions," says Singh.

Her hands run lightly on the harmonium as she rehearses for the evening. "Riyaaz is one thing that keeps music, the voice alive. This was one of the greatest lessons I learnt from Pandit Bhim Sen Joshi and taught my students too. To be a performer, a true artist, one has to learn to be patient first. Try and sit quietly for hours. Learn that first and the will and patience for music will follow, said Panditji," Singh recalls her early lessons with the maestro.

One of her earliest memories of music, however, date back to the 1950s, in Lahore, where Singh as a little girl would run to her next door neighbour's house and listen to her in awe. "She was the legendary Mallika Pukhraj, and my love for music grew." With her mother's encouragement and her father's keen interest in Urdu poetry and music, Singh went on to learn classical music and has been singing since she was 13. Marriage cemented her musical career further with music loving in-laws and a husband who gifted her a tanpura instead of a wedding ring!

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