Ustad Bismillah Khan
In continuation with our series on artists and their mastery, Think Link Multimedia brings you a short clip of India’s immortal gem – Ustaad Bismillah Khan and a little about his journey as an artist.
The debate is endless whether talent makes the artist or is it by attaining technical perfection. In reality, it is the perseverance of uncountable hours over endless number of years and dedication to the art that makes an artist what he is. Their art is effortless as they have honed it through strict discipline and single-minded focus.
Beginning as a boy when he was just six years old, Ustaad Bismillah Khan learned to play the shehnai, an instrument which rose to international identity through him and shall remain so forever. Initially going against his father’s wishes, his love for the shehnai was such that he could commit himself to nothing else, not even formal education! He learned under the guidance of his maternal uncle, his mamu and gave his debut public recital at 14 years of age in the year 1930, at the Allahabad Music Conference. Ustaadji was also trained in vocal music and being in Varanasi had the natural flair for thumris.
Ustaadji is known for the purity of his heart with which he dissolved boundaries between countries and religions. He offered his namaaz through music and worshipped the Ganges through his riyaaz. Completely irreverent of material possessions, the only true wealth that Ustadji possessed was his music. Though fame poured in from all sides, it could never seep in to the austere life he led. He is known to be very generous to others.
Ustad Bismillah Khan had the rare honour of performing in the Red Fort (Delhi) on 15th August 1947 when India gained independence. Ever after, he became the common aspect of the nation celebrations.
While his career took him far and wide, his heart remained forever on the bank of the Ganges, in Varanasi. He is said to have famously refused citizenship during a tour of Europe saying “Ganga idhar bahti hai kya?” His simple honest and powerful stance left everyone speechless.
Let us watch him play Raag Brindabani Sarang, and experience the wonder of his talent to bring the music alive. His devotion is truly inspiring. We are also including a clip where he is being interviewed, which is a rare occasion as he believed that he gave all his answers through his music. Please view to get inspired.
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