Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ustad Azizuddin Khansaheb

The years 1936-46 were for me the most memorable. Before those years, I remember, when I was very young, Chote Abbaji(Haidar Khansaheb) gave me an ektaari and taught me the basics of music. Bade Abbaji(Alladiya Khansaheb) used to come kolhapur from mumbai and he too taught me dhrupad, dhamar and khayal. I was the only child of my parents, and they loved me very much. My mother was seriously ill, and would not allow Bade Abbaji to take me to Mumbai for learning music. I used to go to school in kolhapur and learn a little singing from my father(Bhurji Khansaheb).
In 1936 I went to Mumbai. I used to live with Abbaji, and be with him day and night. What would be the daily routine of a great, sagelike singer like him! Apart from daily chores, he was always drowned in music, thinking of music, teaching music. Even when he seemed to be sitting quickly, he would be thinking of music. His fingures were always counting beat. Because he was old, and also because of the doctor's advice about my health, he could not give me rigorous training. But Abbaji taught that the family tradition must continue and taught me the astai-antaras of several rare ragas. It was thought that my father would train me in the common ragas and also get me to practise the rare ragas that Abbaji had taught.
I used to take him to Leelabai Shirgaonkar's house after breakfast. Shri Gulubhai Jasdanwala used to come for his training in the evening. I used to go to Shrigaonkar's house in the evening to take lessons from Abbaji with Shri Jasdanwala. After that, we would go to Band Stand in Chowpatti. Abbaji would rest a little, or sometimes teach us rare ragas. Gulubhai would then drop us home.
Shri Anantrao Shrigaonkar and seth Gulubhai Jasdanwala looked after Abbaji in the last years of his life. They strove hard to fulfil his only wish "Mujhe achhi mitti do!" and acquired a plot in the century. They informed him of this before died, and gave them many blessings. The Shrigaonkar family built a marble kabar. Gulubhai and Shrigaonkar also got Abbaji's statue installed in Kolhapur.
Abbaji was fond of eating paan. Before and after dinner he would rest a little. After dinner he would sit chewing paan and talk about many things the astai-antaras of various raags, anecdotes of ancestors memorable events of his youth, memories of travel, concerts, and how he acquired the family music tradition.
I wrote these things down, collected in this way, and I am happy to make it available to students of music
Author: Azizuddin Khansaheb

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