Iqbal Khan
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Written by Suanshu Khurana
| New Delhi |

December 18, 2020 2:54:33 am

Ustad Iqbal Ahmed belonged to the Delhi Gharana of classical music. (Express picture by Vikram Sharma)

On December 13, a live performance went dwell on Facebook from ‘Mausiqi Manzil’, a crumbling constructing within the slim lanes of Suiwalan in Darya Ganj which is dwelling to the Dilli gharana.

Ut Iqbal Ahmed Khan, the khalifa of the gharana, sat in his nightgown together with sitar participant Ut Saeed Zafar Khan and touched the notes of Bhairavi, the raga of separation, as a haziri on the dying anniversary of veteran sarangi and sursagar participant Ut Mamman Khan. In the center of the live performance, Khan welled up, and mentioned, “Allah aap sabko salamat rakhe (May god bless you all).”

Khan (66) died Thursday after a large cardiac arrest.

“His demise is shocking… He was so pleasant and so full of life. An erudite musician, one marvelled at how he knew so much,” mentioned his good friend and Mumbai-based santoor participant Satish Vyas.

The historical past of the Dilli gharana may be traced again to the court docket of Iltutmish within the 13th century, whose court docket home was dwelling to Mir Hasan Sawant and Mir Kalawant. Sawant left the court docket and have become a follower of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, infusing sufi qalams in his music. His gharana got here to be often called ‘Qawwal Bachhe’. Kalawant stayed a raj gayak, promoted dhrupad and dhamar. His gharana turned Dilli gharana.

After the Britishers conquered Delhi within the 19th century, many important musicians from the gharana, akin to Ut Tanras Khan, moved to Pakistan, whereas Ut Chand Khan stayed again. An vital musician from the Qawwal bachhe gharana, Ut Iqbal Ahmed was his grandson. Chand Khan’s home resonated with thumris and ghazals crooned by Siddheshwari Devi and Begum Akhtar — disciples of Chand Khan, whereas heavyweights like Ut Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and Ok L Saigal frequented the home.

“But when Iqbal saab was coming up, the whole family gharana system was sort of breaking down. Singers such as Pt Jasraj and Bhimsen ji (Joshi), not from a family that founded a gharana, were very good and came so strongly, the family ustads couldn’t really hold on to their bastion,” mentioned Delhi-based sarod participant Pt Biswajit Roy Chowdhury.

Ut Iqbal Ahmed was an everyday at most live shows within the Capital, reeling “subhan allah” and “kya kehne” after a lighting pace taan or an important couplet. But he by no means made it to a few of these festivals he attended.

“He didn’t fit the bill, he wouldn’t hobnob with the organisers,” reasoned Chowdhury. “He deserved much more. I think he passed away too early and didn’t get his due,” says Vyas.

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