Gifted and blessed with deep spiritual leanings from her very childhood, Padmatai fondly recalls singing every evening in a temple from the tender age of four, unmindful of the throng of devotees crowding around her. Encouraged by her parents to do so, she feels that even today when she performs in front of packed audiences, she sings for Him, the Almighty, offering her music both as a homage and in gratitude for the benevolence He has showered upon her. This sense of sincere devotion extends to her Gurus and also other senior musicians who have, in one way or another, influenced and inspired her musical thinking, notable amongst those being Ustad Amir Khan, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and Pandit Kumar Gandharva.

Simple and unassuming in her living she, however, is very clear about her individual concept of what constitutes good music – the emphasis being on 'swara' (notes) and laya (tempo). Correctly and lovingly approached notes and a keen, internalized sense of tempo and rhythmic cycles (taala) are a must for music to be effective, she emphasizes. Her love for the accuracy and sanctity of notes she attributes to her first Guru, Pt. Pimpalkhare of the Gwalior Gharana, and the latter to her training under the late Shreemati Mogubai Kurdikar of the Jaipur Gharana. From Pandit Gajanan Bua Joshi she imbibed elements of the forceful and majestic Gwalior Gharana. She also gratefully acknowledges her musical debt to Shreemati Kishori Amonkar whose musical influences remain with her even today.


padma talwalkarWhile mastery on swara and laya are undoubtedly the basic qualities of good music, there is something that goes beyond swara and laya, that distinguishes the "truly great" from the "good." In her own words, when the artiste approaches the art with a feeling of total surrender and achieves an egoless state, the music happens of its own, as if it is flowing from some divine source.

Padmatai has received "seena-ba-seena" taleem in the Gwalior as well as Jaipur styles, and has imbibed the best from these styles, and yet created a style of her own which comes across in every alaap, in every musical phrase, and every taan in her presentation. Her music is devoid of gimmickry and acrobatics, yet the moment she closes her eyes and sings the first Shadja in her performance, she connects with the listener and draws him into her world.

Padmatai’s website was launched by all her students on the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima, July 25th, 2010, as a token of love and appreciation for whatever she has given them. Click to download Smt Padma Talwalkar's detailed profile