MUMBAI MIRROR (April 6, 2017)

We hear Sonam Kapoor, who is set to kick start work on R Balki’s Akshay Kumar-starrer Padman in Indore, is now learning to play the tabla for the part. The film, which also features Radhika Apte in the role of Akshay’s wife, had kicked off with Khiladi Kumar shooting solo in the Madhya Pradesh Capital last month.

While Balki had categorically denied to Mirror that Sonam plays a journalist in the film, this new development has piqued our curiosity even more.
Upala KBR (DNA; April 6, 2017)

Sonam Kapoor is learning the tabla for her role in the upcoming Padman. The actress will join the film’s cast in Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh, on Monday, where the shoot has been on for a month now.

We’ve learned that she’s been training under 28-year-old tabla player and percussionist Mukta Madan Raste for two months now. Raste is rated a top performer at national tabla competitions.

Mukta confirms, “Sonam has been learning how to play the tabla from me.” We’ve learned that depending on her schedule, Sonam makes it a point to train with Mukta at least once a week. “As Sonam plays a tabla player in Padman, she is making time to learn the nuances of playing the instrument. Even while travelling, she takes a music book along and finds time to practise on her own. Mukta also has a small role in the film and she plays a sarangi player and trains Sonam, too,” says an insider.

Learning an instrument mostly played by men in movies, this will be the first time a top actress will be shown playing a tabla in a Bollywood movie. “It is noteworthy that she is learning an instrument for a film when she does not really need to. In any case, it takes anyone years to properly learn the instrument,” says our source.

Padman also stars Akshay Kumar and Radhika Apte based on a real-life story of a social entrepreneur, Arunachalam Muruganantham, who took it on himself to provide low-cost sanitary napkins to women from poor economic states across rural India.