Know the facts about legendary musician ‘Bismillah Khan’

We all have heard about the legendary Indian musician Bismillah Khan. Let us know some more interesting facts about him and his life.

1.The great and veteran musician Ustad Bismillah Khan was born on 21st march,1916 in Buxar, Bihar. He left us on 21st August 2006 in Varanasi,UP.He was the one who made us realize the ability of a wind instrument called Shehnai .

2.He was the second child of Paigambar Khan and Mithan.His father used to perform Shehnai at the Maharaja Keshav Prasad Singh’s court of the Dumrao,Bihar.

3. His parents named him as Qamaruddin so that his name would be identical to the name of his elder brother,Shamsuddin. It is interesting to know that when his grandfather saw him for the first time , uttered the word “Bismillah” hence he popularized as Ustad Bismillah Khan .

4.Apart from his father,his uncle was  used to play shehnai under the guidance of his uncle. People believe that Bismillah Khan learnt shehnai under the guidance of his uncle.Bismillah Khan was the reason behind the popularity of shehnai. The shehnai is a reed instrument which is similar to the western oboe.

5.Bismillah khan was the biggest devotee of the saraswati ( the hindu goddess of wisdom and arts ) once and he was the only person to handle folk instrument shehnai . He had fallen in love with his musical instrument so that he often called it as his wife.

6. He belongs to a family who had musical background and his ancestors were musician in the court of the states of bhojpur. His career began by playing at different stage shows . Once he got a big opportunity to play his music in a concert at All INDIA MUSIC conference in Calcutta. Both the Asians and Westerns music lovers from all over the world liked and praised his performances .

7.He got the honour of best performer in all india music conference in the Allahabad in 1930. He was requested by the Indian Prime minister pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to play shehnai at the first independence on 15th August,1947. He had also performed the Raga Kafi at the evening of first republic day on 26th January 1950 at the red fort.

8.He made millions of people fall in love with his musical instrument shehnai. Apart from the mosques, he was the person who went to the hindu temples and played shehnai at the banks of the river ganga in varanasi.

9.He was awarded with the Bharat Ratna in 2001.Bharat Ratna is the uppermost national honour in india. He had also achieved Padma vibhushan in 1980, Padma Bhushan in 1968 and padma shri in 1961 etc.Many of the children wanted to have Bismillah Khan as their teacher , but he rarely accepted students.

10. Once he met with the Namdhari  Singh,who later became his student. He also accepted two more students named Kirpal singh and Gurbaksh singh. His performance was broadcast live by doordarshan which also made huge fans of him.

-Supriya Sinha

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