HT Correspondent, Varanasi, April 26
THE LONG cherished desire of Bharat Ratna awardee and Shehnai maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan to render shehnai at India Gate would be fulfilled soon.
Bismillah Khan, who also played shehnai from the rampart of Red Fort on August 1947, has expressed his coveted desire to render shehnai from India Gate while he was celebrating his 90th birthday at his residence on March 25.
Personal secretary of Bismillah Khan, Javed Ahmed said, Bismillah Khan would render shehnai at the India Gate in New Delhi on July 25 at a function being organised in the memory of martyrs of the World War-I.
He said Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Prakash Jaiswal would visit the residence of Bismillah Khan in Varanasi to give him a formal invitation to render shehnai at India Gate in New Delhi on July 25.
Javed said Shivnath Jha, a journalist who has offered silver shehnai to Bismillah Khan on March 25, had conveyed the coveted desire of this shehnai maestro to Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Sri Prakash Jaiswal.
He added that he got a message that Sri Prakash Jaiswal would visit the residence of Khan Saheb on April 28 to invite him for rendering shehnai from India Gate on July 25.
It may be mentioned that Bismillah Khan was born on March 21, 1916 in a family of professional shehnai players of a princely state of Dumraon in Bihar.
He later shifted to his maternal uncle Ustad Ali Bux, an eminent shehnai player in Varanasi to learn Shehnai.
He started ‘riyaz’ (practice) at the tender age of six. Ustad Bismillah Khan gave his first public performance at the age of 14 in 1930 at the All India Music Conference in Allahabad.
Since his ancestors were all shehnai players including his great great grandfather late Ustad Salar Hussain Khan, great grand father Late Ustad Hussain Bux Khan, grand father late Rasool Bux Khan and father late Paighambar Bux Khan, Ustad Bismillah Khan carried forward his legacy of shehnai.