Memorabilia - A Hindustani Special

Ustad Allauddin Khan of Malhar, while young, was not enticed by his two wives but ran away from home in pursuit of his passion to learn music. He went to Ustad Wazir Khan, a descendant of Tansen and a member of the Beenkar gharana at Rampur, but the sentries would not allow him in!  Young Allauddin even thought of committing suicide in desperation when a mullah stepped into his life. He gave him a letter addressed to Wazir Khan but the catch lay in reaching the Wazir! How to dent the Maginot Line of servants?

One day, as the Nawab of Rampur drove towards the theatre, Allauddin threw himself in front of the vehicle and poured his heart out to the sympathetic Nawab. Impressed by the fanatic sincerity of the boy, the Nawab himself took personal interest to arrange for Allauddin's tuitions with the Wazir.

Such anecdotes reveal how difficult it was to learn and practise music even a few decades ago and how different it is now!


"One must read, absorb, learn and know about India's religion, philosophies and spiritual atmosphere. One may even have to come to India to understand our music, let alone play it. All these are necessary since our music is very closely connected to the complete unfolding of India's history and development. Without intense study of our traditions and culture, the music would appear false and sympathetic.

"Starting from the very beginning, it requires at least twenty years of constant work and practise to reach maturity. A talented student may do this with five years of planned, organized and concentrated work". (Pandit Ravi Shankar, the Sitar maestro)

"In olden days, if a musician made a mistake, the audience would immediately react. Now it is different. The audience applauds more and more, especially, if the Tabla player has shown his prowess with a few quick bols or tihais!" (Lakshman Krishna Rao of the Gwalior gharana)

Courtesy: "Garland" N Rajagopalan


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