Paying tributes to Begum Akhtar

Updated on Dec 08, 2005 07:02 PM IST

The singer's biography, Begum Akhtar- The Story of my Ammi, was released recently.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, New Delhi

Begum Akhtar, a legend who immortalised her own definite style of singing - a style that only a few could match has become a name which is synonymous with the concept of Ghazal singing in India, Gursharan Kaur the wife of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in Delhi.

She is rightly known as Mallika-e-Ghazal. Her inimitable style of singing, the haunting sweet notes with which she mesemerised the audience, her uncanny ability to choose the right kind of ghazal has left an indelible print on the minds of those who got a chance to listen to this great exponent," Kaur said at the launch of the biography of the singer titled Begum Akhtar- The Story of my Ammi.

She said, "the writer has beautifully weaved the anecdotes and incidents of the exponents life. The book is an attempt to bring alive a woman who came from a humble beginning and conquered the world of music."

She also read out the popular ghazal of the great singer Hum Ko mita sakhe zamane me dam nahi. Zamanahum se hei hum zamane se nahi.

"The exponent's music still sets the standard for connoisseurs of this genre to this day. Begum Akhtar's rendition were so endearing that her every note gripped the hearts of the audience. She possessed all the qualities that are so vital for a good ghazal singer," Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhi said.

Many movies have been made, borrowing generously from episodes in her life. But everyone has tried to prick at a festering wound. This book will put to rest all pending issues, gaping discrepancies and obvious lies," Shanti Hiranand the author of the book and singer's disciple said.

"This book will provide a salve to all those open wounds surrounding Akhtar's persona. I have not revealed all the hitherto hidden in the dusty corridors of House No 1, HGavelock Road Lucknow but tried to bring alive a vivacious person who is remembered only for the controversioes surrounding her life," Hiranand said.

Recalling an incident she said Akhtar had such aura and commanded such respect that even Pandit Nehru got up as she reached the dias at Red Fort to perform," the author said.

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