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A Legend Remembered

Wednesday, May 08, 2019
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar

Very few people of the current generation have heard of Ustad Alladiya Khan who was given the title 'Gaurishankar of Music' by the noted jurist Barrister M R Jaykar way back in 1940s.

Alladiya Khan had a long and distinguished career. He was born in 1856 in Rajputana which is now known as Rajasthan. He performed widely in the later half of the 19th century but suddenly lost his voice due to excessive singing at the behest of the Prince of Amleta.

He turned his disability into an asset by introspecting deeply on his music and developing an altogether new style of singing which later came to be known as Jaipur Attrauli gharana.

Alladiya chose to concentrate on teaching and he produced most accomplished singers like Tanibai, Kesarbai Kerkar, Laxmibai Jadhav, Mogubai Kurdikar and many others. Although he was appointed as the court musician of the Kolhapur darbar, his second home was the city of Bombay where his last performance was held at the Convocation hall of the University in 1944. Soon he breathed his last in this city at the ripe age of 94.

D R Khadke, a police officer and an ardent follower of the gharana began a Music festival dedicated to Alladiya Khan in 1970s. It is one of the biggest events of the city. The 42nd Sammelan was held recently in the city and it was a crowd puller as usual. The first session began with a vocal recital by the Gwalior gharana singer Bharat Telang who sang the ragas 'Bhimpalasi' and 'Yaman' in the pure gharana style. Telang is a singer who deserves to be heard more often. Kedar Naphade, a U S based harmonist played solo harmonium. His raga 'Champakali' was an unusual presentation.

The finale was provided by senior gharana exponent Pratima Tilak who presented the raga 'Nayaki Kanada'. This raga has special Jaipur Attrauli flavour. Pratima Tilak did full justice to the melody. Her recital proved the point that the tradition does flow on.

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