Akhtarinama: Life and music darken the journey

It was Begum Akhtar, whose upbringing was neatly sculpted by Mushtarbai. It was Begum, whom Mushtarbai brought to the cinema, when Gauharjan Karnatki’s films used to speak and raise the heads of the people and made Adani Si Akhtari stand against them. Mushtarbai, whom the whole house used to call ‘big saab’ – sat on the balcony of the house and kept an eye on every visitor who came to meet Akhtari and who went? It was Begum Akhtar, who moved from Gaya to Calcutta because of the promotion of Mushtari, so that Parsis could work in the theater and later go to Bombay to make their mark in cinema.

In this entire episode, one thing is very clear that all the important women who have been recognized as the early representatives of Indian cinema and classical music – most of their success is attributed to their mothers, who in their time were towards daughters. The rebels could not move forward, but the desire to see their own life in the golden light never shied.

From here the context of understanding Begum Akhtar moves forward. Born on October 7, 1914, in Bhadarsa town of Faizabad district, Akhtaribai Faizabadi’s initial introduction was that she was the younger daughter of Faizabad’s well-known tawaif Mushtarbai and lawyer Asghar Hussain. Asghar Hussain was so fond of Mushtaribai that he made Mushtari his second wife. It is another matter that in the little girl Bibbi (the name of Akhtaribai’s childhood), she was present since her childhood, which was gradually transformed into a different adult and sensible Akhtari by the circumstances.

Rising Amidst The Challenges

His poor economic condition of childhood drove him to Calcutta around 1920. One of its successes was that Mushtaribai handed him over to Ustad Ata Muhammad Khan of the Patiala gharana to dress up in traditional classical music. Akhtari was never able to sing with full heart after learning from the dry and serious singing of Maestro, but remained close to him and perfected in Ghazal, Thumri and Dadra. At that time, the pain of not being able to learn Khayal properly in childhood inspired him to learn Khayal again and this time, he was very keen to learn the specifics of Khayal from the kirana stalwart Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan.

This time Akhtari was more intelligent and more serious. Now he had a childhood as before and he knew very well that Khayal was insensitive to his family in performing in front of the public without knowing the minutest depth of singing. She grew up learning Khyal, Thumri, Dadra and Ghazal and the artist inside her was enriched in terms of language and dialect by listening to the tinkling words of Purbia, Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Hindi and Urdu.

You can easily examine here how the organ of the East and the color of the Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb of Uttar Pradesh is uniquely scaled in the singing of Begum Akhtar. The use of Urdu words with despatches is another great strength of Begum Akhtar’s singing, which makes her dominance in her contemporaries differently.

It was the effect of Akhtaribai’s upbringing, her sophistication and training in different cities at a young age in different ways that in later days, when she was in the most delicate and beautiful era both in terms of her music and age, India Most of the Nawabs and Raja Maharajas made him a singer in their court from time to time. Begum Akhtar, who had been a court singer in the Nawabs of Hyderabad, Bhopal and Rampur and the court houses of Kashmir and Ayodhya, was always counted among the big singers.

Begum Akhtar made her mark in the presence of her predecessor and contemporary singers especially Anjanebai Malpekar, Kesarbai Kerkar, Moghubai Kurdikar and Siddheshwari Devi. So much ardor about learning and unmatched desire to get something new, he has been rewarded with many songs. For example, a dadra – ‘Main to tere Damanwa lagi maharaj’, heard from Anjani Bai Malpekar, older than his age and almost 90 years old, of Bhendi Bazar gharana, he learned after almost following him. In this way, it would seem that even though she lived in a house, she was not completely a family.

Begum Sahiba, who was like a fan behind Unmukt, Swachhand and skill, did everything she liked. He wanted to get everything, who is afraid of having great masters too. Akhtaribai Faizabadi, who learned something by going to many rates, was also amazing that she used to save her type of Begum Akhtar in some corner somewhere by drowning in it completely. In this context, it is worth recounting an interesting memoir of Ustad Bismillah Khan, Khan saheb formate – “Begum Akhtar had a strange sore on her neck. Whom they say ‘Aqar ki taan’, when they are ‘A’, their throat gets torn, and that was their quality. But in Shastraya music, that defect is considered. Once we said, ‘Say something, tell me something.’ She said, “What am I to say, tell me.” We said anything. Begum started singing, “Nirala Banra Deewana Bana De”. After saying one time, two times, when she got her throat slammed in Deewana Ban De, we said, “Aha, this is sitam hai teri awaaz ka.” At the time of the tigun, the hoist was thick, the same was amazing in Begum Akhtar. ”

The throat becomes acute by distorting the pure vowels in a special situation, or it breaks in the normal sense while taking the tones, mints, and gum – in the art of Begum Akhtar.

Used to make rude changes. People used to sit for hours just waiting for that moment, not knowing when that moment would come.

Historian Salim Kidwai explains that “no one knew exactly when the audience would feel that situation in the payment of Begum Akhtar, but it is certain that no such Jatan Begum did it on purpose.” The special speculation was natural and almost unpredictable – perhaps that is why from that time till today, listening to Begum’s ghazals, the young generation of that unexpected squid Mr. Collier is apparently settled. This deformity found by nature has become the decoration of Begum Akhtar’s singing. Then, whether one wants to make ‘crazy’ or ‘make it crazy’, one will feel, whether one speaks softly, one will listen and hear rants like ‘Hamari Atariya Pe Aao Sanwariya’; Everything was completely unique in his style, which was not possible to copy.

Music has always been a part of enlightened society. Despite having gained recognition and superiority in Indian classical singing, there is a tradition of escaping by saying ‘pakka song’. For those who have been listening to music for their fun, classical singing has always been a matter of curiosity. But the recognition of those people who have been thinking so much about Begum Akhtar has also been amazingly respectful and complimentary.

It may also happen that just as the life of Begum Akhtar is made and decorated with all the cross-sloping lines and a lot of sad colors, a listener gets a little extra space for movement. Being the daughter of a bai, then acting in cinema, then gradually gaining centrality in the ecclesiastical music society and doing the right thing by exposing her luxurious life and food – all this together Begum Akhtar To turn it into a wonder object. The singing of Begum Akhtar, who used to get up in her own age by smoking cigarettes and alcohol, is also being heard, seen and practiced till date for this reason, both with great surprise and some skepticism. In this, listeners and fans were also always allowed to decide how much their own favorite singer’s misery is and how far to go.

Begum Akhtar’s singing, caught in the conflict between this familiarity and innocence, has always been a curiosity among the new listeners. It is the opinion of all those Kadradans that when Begum Akhtar used to sing a ghazal, the entire festival would have a magical effect. During 60-70, which is also the peak period of the Begum, it was quite amazing to hear such a famous ghazal singer. It was difficult for those listeners to decide how much Akhtaribai’s voice was connected to the ground while singing and how much myth. How much height can be provided to moments like sorrow, tears, pain, love, pain, rebellion, adornment – for this matter their ghazals should be investigated afresh.

How does the pain of common life in singing sing the classical dignity Akhtiyar – Begum Akhtar was an example of this. Here, there is no hesitation in saying that the era in which his contemporary singer singers played the melody of ‘pakka-gana’ by their amazing fun, at the time, in the spirit of their emotions, was bounded by the restrictions of serious literary Urdu words. Meer, Ghalib, Momin, singing the ghazals of Daag, on the other hand, contemporary and new poets Kaifi Azmi, Shakeel Badauni, Jigar Muradabadi, Sudarshan Faqir With sector, Begum Akhtar were way ahead of their contemporary vocalists. The practical aspect of the particular rhythm or sound of music which is often practiced by the music, its practical aspect was clear from their singing.

A Subtle Art

To understand the art of a lifeless singer like Begum Akhtar, we must also look behind the chickens lying on the closed corridors of her life, out of which a great funk has been achieved by Awadh. Long before Akhtaribai became Begum Akhtar, Lucknow has been filled with history of well-known people in the world of music in many ways. In these, we can mainly take the names of Nawab Wazid Ali Shah, Bindadin Maharaj, Achchan Maharaj etc.

How Akhtaribai was thinking progressively in the early stages of her life and had the ability to walk together step by step in the new age, this can be understood by her one decision. This incident dates back to 1938 AD, as well as an important year in his life. At a time when most of the singers and tawaifs maintained their whereabouts (which we can call ‘kotha’) in the old Nakkhas and Chowk areas of old Lucknow, Akhtaribai would become the first such female figure to be known in the history of music, Who broke this old ritual in one stroke. He preferred to go straight from the infamous streets of the Chowk to a modern settlement like Hazratganj of New Lucknow and live among the ‘Shurafa’ (nobility).

In 1938 he built his kotha ‘Akhtar-Manzil’ near Zahoor Bakhsh Church, in Lal Bagh, Hazratganj. Now, you see that like the rest of the tawaifs, she did not go to the chowk to settle. He differentiated himself from the rest of the singers. He also separated himself from the lewd movement, which used to hold the reputation of a few notorious settlements. In this time, he came to such a place and put his music and music, where the people of Sharif houses could easily come.

Where ‘Akhtar Manzil’ was built; His background was that on one side there was the famous Ibadhatgah Zahoor Bakhsh Church, on the other side this Kotha where

Geerabad used to fall just behind the Palace. The house of Chaudhary Rashiduddin Ashraf, the talukedar of Karkha, who was the brother-in-law of Jahangirabad, also used to be next to the ‘Akhtar Manzil’. Now, coming to such a neighborhood, any Sharifzada could easily come to the residence of Akhtaribai. There, no one could raise a finger on him, ‘Hey Mian, what were you doing there at that time?’ If this place falls on a street or crossroads in Old Lucknow, then the fans of Begum’s music, from the upper and the elite They belonged, could not go there even if they wanted to.

Discussion of this episode of Begum Akhtar is necessary to understand this historical fact that before or after 1938 till date, no tawaif could settle in the area of ​​Hazratganj. Far from building a shelter, could not even think like this. Incidentally, it is also important to know that once again around 1945, he built his second house on Havelock Road. This time also gave him ‘Akhtar-Manzil’.