Small Talk 4 | In Conversation with Meeta Pandit & Jameela Siddiqi

Episode four of our series of online videos Small Talk. This captivating series features conversations between fascinating people from across various disciplines including music, cinema, art, anthropology, politics and philosophy. Each month, our guests choose a theme close to their heart. In our fourth episode, acclaimed Hindustani Classical vocalist, Meeta Pandit discusses Indian music with award-winning broadcaster, journalist, novelist and Indian Classical music specialist Jameela Siddiqi.


They explore various subjects from musical heritage to interpretation, from techniques to ragas, from vocalisation to the significance of lyrics as well as their own personal connections to music. The episode crosses over various musical forms from Meeta’s own background, the Gwalior Gharana, to discussing Qawwali to Punjabi folk to popular music. Meeta offers a fascinating insight into how she interprets her music, her upbringing and teaching under her grandfather, Padma Bhushan Pt. Krishnarao Shankar Pandit, the doyen of Northern Indian Classical music in the 20th century, and her father Pt. Laxman Krishnarao Pandit.


Meeta Pandit

Meeta Pandit is an acclaimed Hindustani Classical vocalist who belongs to the Gwalior Gharana. Granddaughter and disciple of Pt Krishna Rao Shankar Pandit, and daughter of Laxman Krishnarao Pandit, she is the sixth in the unbroken lineage and the first woman in the family to have taken up music as a profession. Her voice, both melodious and robust, whose vocal range stretches over three octaves, and her beautiful raga handling have won her critical acclaim and awards. She also has a Ph.D in Hindustani Classical music.


Jameela Siddiqi:

Jameela is an award-winning broadcaster, journalist and novelist and an Indian classical music critic and translator. Jameela is a regular contributor to Songlines, a leading publication on World Music and has written and broadcasted for the BBC. She has translated film, folk and classical Indian poetry and songs and has acted as a language consultant for Oxford University Press. Jameela has lectured in the UK and abroad on all aspects of Indian classical music and culture. Her novels include The Feast of the Nine Virgins, 2011, and Bombay Gardens, 2006.