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Looking for Miss Sargam: Stories of Music and Misadventure

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  17 reviews
‘Set in the heart of the world of Indian music, these are stories with a rhythm entirely their own. They speak of hope and disaster, genius and fakery in surprising ways. And they are wickedly funny.’—JERRY PINTO
After thousands of hours of training and practice, the gods of music smile upon the deserving few. Genius shines; melody and goodness reign supreme; and all is ri
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published July 10th 2019 by Speaking Tiger Publishing Pvt Ltd
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Teenu Vijayan
May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I first heard about the book at the Bangalore lit fest and I'm so happy I finally got around to reading this book.
Before I get into my review,let me share a small incident from my childhood. Being a South Indian, my mom wanted me to learn Carnatic music. But me being me started crying on the first day and refused to go for further classes. Much later I fell in love with the classical music when I learnt Bharatnatyam and I still have my cassettes safely with me. The 90s kid in me was into lot of
Chitra Ahanthem
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a debut! In this one, Shubha Mudgal who brought pop music and Indian classical music together sets 7 short stories in and around the music world drawing readers through an engaging narrative and a sparkling wit. Each story will take reader into a believable build of setting, characters and plot. The stories, the characters and the settings : the dilemmas they find themselves in regarding the world of music they dwell in are distinctly familiar yet shine with a distinct flavour and tune.

Hansda Shekhar
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The stories in ‘Looking for Miss Sargam’ are subtle performances of disappointment as a life-changer. Here is my full review published in Scroll: ...more
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read! Very well written. A collection of short stories that (each) showcase the multi-talented author’s insightful understanding of the music ‘sadhana’ and business, her wit and total comfort with English with spadeful of Indian-idiomatic prose.

Wonderfully readable, enjoyable and often evoking the blues!

Bravo, Shubhaji!!!
Anand Ganapathy
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ourlibrary
Nice set of short stories by Hindustani classical vocalist Shubha Mudgal . These stories have music as the central running theme
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Music has been an essential part of my life throughout just like reading. Though I couldn't pursue any training or classes I was very much interested to learn Carnatic music as a kid. Music and reading have been such an irreplaceable part of life. As a 90s kid I grew up listening to Indi pop music. Shubha Mudgal's music and name makes me very nostalgic reminiscing my childhood. I was extremely excited to see her book when it released and heard positive reviews regarding the same.

Looking for Miss
Nandini vaidyanathan
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A breezy delightful read!

The author's writing voice is as authentic as her singing voice! I'm a big fan of her music and hope to meet her some day to tell her face-to-face what an impish journey it was, looking for Ms Sargam! I am not a big fan of Indian writers who peddle Indianness to non Indians, but every story in this book made me feel that the author perhaps had met these characters, or experienced these situations first hand. Loud and clear and authentic. Just like her singing voice.
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love Shubha Mudgal's songs and her energy is very contagious.. so this collection of short stories naturally piqued my interest.

The stories are delightful in their simplicity. Music themed and highlighting the challenges and quirks of the music industry, particularly for a classically trained, traditional musician in these times of electronic music and Western beats.

What happens behind the scenes of a peace concert featuring artists from sparring countries? Is talent the deciding factor for pr
Sudhir Dalal
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Coming from a top Indian Classical Singer, I was reluctant to pick up the book thinking literature may not be the forte of a musician but decided to read it nevertheless, more out of my respect of her music than anything else. I am glad I did. Shobhaji has a great command on the language. She excels at developing the characters in all her short stories. There is a humourous tone in all of them. Again, the stories relate to the Indian Classical music scene of which she has first hand knowledge. S ...more
Pujitha Padmanabhan
Sep 09, 2020 rated it liked it
What happens behind the scenes in the music industry? What are the stories of struggling artists? What happens when there’s a growing body wanting to commercialise classical music to make it ‘cool’ and palatable for the new gen?

Looking for Miss Sargam by Shubha Mudgal is a collection of 7 short stories, each giving insights along these themes. This book was a relatively light, quick and entertaining read. It shouldn’t be considered a great literary masterpiece or something of that sort, but some
Sep 04, 2020 rated it liked it
It came as a wonderful surprise to know that Shubha Mudgal , an eminent singer , is also a short story writer. All Stories have music world as a background as one can easily imagine. It can fit "easy reading" genre. Each story begins with a bang. One gets engrossed in the unfolding story. Glimpses in the world of music are quite interesting and revealing. Alas, it doesn't last till the end. All Stories end so suddenly that one feels cheated. Wish she could have used more finesse in ending the st ...more
Srivalli Rekha
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars
The book was a fun take on the backstage stuff that happens in the music (entertainment) industry. It's light and a typically Indian book.
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Music makes an integral part of our beings, for I have never come across a modern day 'Aurangzeb' who is miffed by the mention of it. My own tryst with music goes a long way back, and it took a serious turn for a brief span when I took up classical training; fast forward to several years later I am married to a part time musician and was introduced to the technicalities and life of people who take up music professionally. That being said, am no stranger to behind the scene goings of the industry ...more
Revanth Ukkalam
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely collection of seven "mercilessly funny" stories set in the world of Indian classical music by an insider. It is a sociology of art - if you will. Having read the book, I cannot avoid the natural smirk when I see a musical reality show on TV or when I hear the word 'merit'. The stories are very short and the book itself can be read away over a lunch but the stories will obviously not leave you. Just as the rest of the world, the arena of art is populated with avarice, jealousy, a ...more
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 4-75-stars, anthology
Looking for Miss Sargam by Shubha Mudgal

No music lover would be unaware of Shubha Mudgal and her rich voice and impassioned singing. This same richness and passion is visible in her debut book, an anthology of stories from the Indian music world.

Each of the 7 stories in the book is written with brilliance. They are heartwarming and heartbreaking. The stories aren't set in the typical metropolises but in the heartland of Indian music. But what got my attention even more was the languag
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well written crisp stories decorated with situational humor. The author masterfully interweaves an Indian artists regrets, deep desires and silent sacrifices. The author being a musician herself gives us a blaring reality about the murky business aspects of the music Industry and makes us realize how talent alone is not enough to survive or even to break-in into the business. Each story is very different from others and showcases different aspects and journeys of classical musicians in India.

Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shubha has used her knowledge of the "behind the scenes" maneuvering rampant in the film industry to create the delightful characters and their stories in this book. Most enjoyable.
A confession - I prefer Shubha's writing to her singing, possibly because unlike her, I am not a trained classical music listener!
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