Mom pushed me into music class

Mom pushed me into music class

Mom pushed me into music class. I was born and brought up in Hyderabad. As the only child to my parents Sonti Prabhakara Shastry and Lakshmi, I was a pampered, but not a spoilt, child.

Recalls singer Geeta Madhuri about how she had to tear herself from her favourite TV show for her class

“I was born and brought up in Hyderabad. As the only child to my parents Sonti Prabhakara Shastry and Lakshmi, I was a pampered, but not a spoilt, child. My dad was a bank employee and mom a homemaker and we were a small and happy family.

I did my schooling at Loyola School at Vanasthalipuram. My first brush with singing was in Class III when I took part in a singing competition. My teacher insisted that all students take part in some or the other competition for the school day and I ended up singing as I felt that was easy. I sang ‘Adivo Alladivo’ and I remember my mom sweating it out writing the lyrics using the rewind button repeatedly on an old tape recorder. Although she is not a singer, she taught me the song.

I think the first taste of success that day made me embrace singing and also helped me discover my passion for music. My mom decided that putting me in a music class would keep me occupied as I would while away my time too much watching TV. So she joined me under music teacher Mucharlakota Padmavathi who lived next door. I felt elated when someone told me that she only teaches those who have a flair for music.

My class was at 4.30 pm and I would hate going as that was the time my favourite Telugu serial ‘Ruturagalu’ was aired on Doordarshan. But my mom would push me to the class. I felt like crying when I used to walk up to the teacher’s house and on the way, I could hear the lovely title song from across the TVs. But soon after I met the teacher and started the practice, I would forget everything and plunge into music. I would enjoy it thoroughly but the blues would hit me the next day when I had to go to the class. In fact, after a point of time, my music teacher and I developed such a great bond that she became my confidante. The class would not begin unless I shared the day’s kaburlu with her.

I was an average student as far as academics were concerned. I was a talkative and rowdy girl and would never take my homework seriously. We were a gang of friends – Parnika Manya (singer), Soujanya, Divya and Ramya. Luckily, my teachers wouldn’t mind when I scored poor marks or failed to do my homework as they knew I learnt music and presumed most of my time went into learning music!

I did my intermediate from Little Flower Junior College, Uppal, and graduation from Aurora College, Chikkadpally. I used to be in the limelight in school during Republic Day, Independence Day or Annual Day, basically anytime I had to sing on the dais.

After I joined intermediate, I started going to Ramachari sir’s Little Musicians Academy (LMA) at Bagh Lingampally. He not only made me a good singer, but a good person too. Singing for LMA on different platforms amidst dignitaries at places like Ravindra Bharati made me realise that singing is a beautiful experience and that I should take it up as a profession. Networking with the right people helped me get good opportunities to sing right in my college days. I would take up any opportunity to sing, regardless of what I was paid, how far it was or how far I had to go. That kind of hard work paid off good results, as you can see.

(As told to Manju Latha Kalanidhi)

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