My Father, Our Fraternity

The God of cricket once said, “Chase your dreams because they do come true”. If only that time I hadn’t considered it to be one of those philosophical pacifiers for the over-messed up mind.
I got to meet not only Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan – a dream I had thought will always be a dream – but also the legend of Hindustani music, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his wife Subulakshmi Iyer, one of the most beautiful and graceful Bharatnatyam dancer.

ustad ji

This dream-like reality started taking shaping when my mom came across the invite for a book launch by Ustad ji at Oxford Book Store, Conaught Place, Delhi.

Ustad ji 5

I need to backtrack a little: Ustad ji was to launch his autobiography: My Father, Our Fraternity, and its excerpts were to be read by his family friend and esteemed singer Shubha Mudgal.

book

In my excitement to be in the presence of a legend, I forgot to confirm the details of the event and had to return disappointed, since the event had been postponed. Not the one to be deterred so easily, I reached well in advance with my mom on the rescheduled date.

The clock that day was ticking slower than its usual pace or maybe it was just my anticipation to meet Ustad ji.

To say that his personality is charismatic would be an understatement. A white and green check kurta, creme churidar, and his signature pashmina shawl accompanied by his majestic persona acted like a magnet for everyone present there.

ustad ji 2

I for one was captivated by this soft spoken man who oozed calm and elegance. There has never been a more down-to-earth and grounded man other than Mr Bacchhan. The same warmth was extended by his family too who had no air about being the first family of Hindustani music (I like to address them so).

ustad ji 4

Shubha Mudgal read out excerpts from the book and requested Ustad ji to share his experiences from the book with all of us. He enthralled us with his humble start in the field of music under the tutelage of his father.

ustad ji1

His book has been dedicated to his father who was a maestro and whose unprecedented talent can be seen in his future generations i.e. Ustad ji and his sons.

Amaan ad ayaan

I consider myself lucky and blessed to have met the man who I have always held in high regard. The thing that increased my respect manifold for him was his kindness towards all. There was not even one instance when he refused to sign books or stand every now and then to get pictures clicked.

Last but not the least, I can’t get enough of his music; a CD with his latest renditions has been encased at the back of the book, which is definitely a collector’s item.

I will never stop reminiscing about that day, but for now time to get back to the book with the melodious notes of sarod soothing my senses.

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