For someone who has been honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri, Padmaja Phenany Joglekar has her feet firmly on the ground. She is not only extremely talented but also versatile. Anurupa Dongare spoke to her on the eve of her concert for the Multiple Sclerosis Society in Pune
Humility, divinity and passion are three words that best describe Padmaja Phenany Joglekar, who will be performing at a concert for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, today. While she has been associated with a long list of social causes, she admits that this is probably the closest to her heart. "A really close childhood friend of mine Jyoti Ronghe is the chairperson of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and she is also a patient of multiple sclerosis. What touched my heart was the fact that this disease attacks youngsters, particularly women, which is why I thought of doing my bit for the cause," reveals Padmaja.
Few people are aware that Padmaja lent her voice to Atal Behari Vajpayee's poems before he became the Prime Minister of India. "It was August 9 1997, Krantidin, and it was as though it was written in my destiny. I met Atalji, and he said, 'Meri Kavitaon ko koi bhi gaa nahin sakta' (No one can sing my poems) I told him if he gave me a chance I would try my best. I sang one of his poems from 'Meri Ikyavan Kavitaen' and he was mesmerised. He stood up, clapped for me and said, 'Yeh taaliyan aapki awaaj ke liye hain mere kavitaon ke liye nahin' (this applause is for your voice and not my poems)," she reminisces.
Apart from Vajpayee's works, Padmaja has also lent her voice to many other poems. Se has also done many solo shows and continues to work with different causes. "The concert that I am doing for the Multiple Sclerosis Society is for free. I am not charging them anything and neither are my musicians. It is a goodwill gesture," she says.
Padmaja has also been a guest judge for some music reality shows. We prod her about it and she reveals, "Many people say that I am a perfectionist, but I give my comments with love and I am willing to learn from them too. I enjoy judging as it gives me a sense of satisfaction." However, she feels the young crop of musicians should realise that music isn't fast food. "You have to practice for hours and saadhna is necessary," she adds.
She is very happy to perform in Pune and adds that the city has always showered love on her. "I hope that the response is good, since the proceeds of the event will be going for a cause," she concludes.
From January 21, 6 pm onwards
At Bal Gandharva Rang Mandir, JM Road.
Entry Passes available at Pandol Watch outlets in Pune and Bal Gandharva Rang Mandir.