Sunday, March 2
The Hindu : Memories of another era
Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was the greatest interpreter of the Patiala gharana. LAKSHMI VISWANATHAN pays tribute to the master in his birth centenary year.
March 2, 2003: RECENTLY a host of disciples and music lovers celebrated the centenary of Khan Sahib Bade Ghulam Ali Khan's birth. He was from Lahore. Many in South India do not know of his connections with this part of the country. He stormed Madras in the 1950s, when he was still a citizen of Pakistan and gathered around him ardent fans, among whom were the giants of Carnatic music.
Old sabhas like Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, and a host of other institutions and wealthy patrons, organised his concerts. Among his devoted rasikas was the famous singer and music director Ghanatasala. In fact, for Khan Sahib's sojourn in Madras, Ghantasala offered his house as a guesthouse. Elders in my family, along with people like GNB the great maestro, Veena Balachander, M.S. Subbulakshmi, M.L. Vasanthakumari, and others flocked to spend their evenings with the great Hindustani master.
Many a time, I accompanied my mother to these soirees and became addicted to the music that only Bade Ghulam Ali Khan could create. He was a genius, and a romantic. Plucking the strings of the swara mandal on his lap, Khan Sahib would take his listeners on a journey into the ethos of the princely courts, rose gardens, cool fountains and the lingering poetry of love — the hallmark of Mughal India. Much later the whole country heard him in the film "Mughal-e-azam". [...]