Kolkata-based Rimpa Siva has been awarded the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar 2017 by the Sangeet Natak Akademi. The 32-year-old has been playing the tabla since the age of three. She hopes that her recognition will inspire other girls to play the tabla, reported TOI.

About Rimpa Siva

Rimpa has been playing the tabla since she was just 3 years old. She belongs to the Farukhabad gharana, which is known for playing Ustad Karamatullah Khan’s intricate “kata gheghe tete kata” composition at a very high speed.

Rimpa, a graduate from Rabindra Bharati Univerisity, got first class first degrees during both her graduation and master’s.

Speaking to TOI, Rimpa said, “I didn’t even know that I was nominated for this award. I came to know about my win only after congratulations starting pouring in.”

She added, “I feel privileged to be getting the award on the same year when the Akademi Puraskar will be given to Haimanti Shukla and Parvathy Baul from Bengal.”

She credits her father Pt Swapan Siva for everything she has achieved today.

Not the first award

Rimpa was always seen as a child prodigy. Way back in 1996, she won the Anunraj Memorial Fund award from Norway. She also became the recipient of Shanmukha Sangeetha Shiromani Award in 2004. Rimpa then bagged the President’s Award from APJ Abdul Kalam in 2007

She was just 14 when she first accompanied Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia on a concert tour to the US. Since then, her journey in the industry has been just positive.

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A 26-minute documentary film was also made on her. Titled “Rimpa Siva: Princess of Tabla” , the documentary was made in France in 1999.

Breaking Stereotypes

Tabla has been a historically as well as traditionally a favourite with men. Hence, Rimpa faced various questions about the choice of her instrument. “People feel that since women’s fingers are delicate, they might not be suitable for playing the tabla. But, I have proved them wrong. I’m glad that other women tabla players, including Reshma Pandit and Mitali Khargonkar, are also coming up now,” she told TOI.

Nari Shakti is an all girls instrumental band she has come up with. “It’s time for more women to break the glass ceiling,” she said.

Picture Credit: Khas Khabar

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Kriti Dwivedi is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv

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