Meeta Pandit, Vocalist
Gharana and Ghar have different meanings for Meeta Pandit. Their duality has given her musical journey vastness and depth. So rich is the Gwalior Gharana exponent in musical wealth and so vast her contribution to Delhi’s music scene along with her father Pandit L K Pandit, that Dilli is now known as the theatre of musical filigree such as the khayal, tappa, tap khayal, abhangs and other forms of gayaki of the Gwalior style. The decade and Delhi belong to Meeta.
“Growing up in a musical family was a wonderful experience. My brother and I would attend many private baithaks together. These were fun to attend as they provided an intimate setting for a small gathering of connoisseurs. College made me realise the importance of attending concerts. I would go to a number of SpicMacay concerts at LSR. Festivals at Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Sapru House and Kamani had some of the best performances. The coming up of India Habitat Centre changed the scene,” she says. Coming from a lineage of musical gems of the Gwalior Court, Delhi is the city where Meeta delivers her roles and duties as a disciple, artiste, guru and archivist.
Granddaughter of the great Pt Krishna Rao Shankar Pandit and daughter of Pandit L K Pandit, Meeta trains disciples and has contributed to an archiving project at the Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts. “It’s the archiving of the works of more than 60 living Hindustani classical maestros. The audio-visual project covered both vocal and instrumental music. It’s profound artistic wealth. The collection has rare photographs and writings from the music’s masters. What makes me feel very satisfied as a musician is that it would be open to public.”
Meeta starts her day with riyaz under her father’s guidance. “I would enjoy being with my father a lot as a child. I remember attending Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur’s concert at the Lala Bharat Ram’s residence as a kid with my dad. Concerts on Janmashtmi were always special.”
Delhi is ghar, the home, from where her virtuosity has spread across the country and the world.
In Delhi you would binge on…
Chaat, momos and lots of red chutney
FavoUrite ritual: Listening to music while walking and writing in a diary
What’s one luxury your father had and you don’t
A well-informed audience