Published: Sun, October 08, 2017
Research | By Derrick Holloway

Begum Akhtar As A Student And A Teacher

Begum Akhtar As A Student And A Teacher

Today's Google Doodle is dedicated to the renowned singer Akhtari Bai Faizabadi, famously known as Begum Akhtar. The doodle shows her sitting gracefully with a sitar with a few admirers around. Begum Akhtar, as she was better to know after her marriage to Lucknow-based barrister Ishtiaq Ahmed Abbasi, was praised by Sarojini Naidu at a concert organized in the aid of the victims of the 1934 Nepal-Bihar natural disaster, and several other prominent persons like the famous writer Satyajit Ray, who even directed a film Jalsaghar with Akhtari in the lead role.

She was the well-known singer of Ghazal Dadra and Thumri genres of Hindustani classical music. She was also a recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for vocal music. She is regarded as one of the most veteran and revered Ghazal singers in India and has thus been given the monicker, of Mallika-e-Ghazal. She then continued to give public performances and sing in concerts till she passed away. She left for heavenly abode on October 30, 1974 but still lives on with her melodies in the eharts of her fans.

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She staged her first performance at the age of 15, and was praised by famous Sarojini Naidu for her singing talent.

The singing legendary saint Begum Akhtar was not only known as the singer but also as the actor.

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Begum Akhtar performed last in a concert in Ahmedabad.

Akhtar also made is debut as an actress in the movie Ék din ka Badshah, but the film did not receive much success. In total she acted 9 films that included 1942 hit Roti and Satyajeet Ray's Jalsaghar. Soon she shifted to lucknow where she met director-producer Mehboob Khan who was quite impressed with her and invited her to Mumbai. That is what perhaps also explains why she always chose poetry-through-ghazal as her selected form of musical expression. The situation became critical and she had to be rushed to the hospital.

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