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It was a challenge for any singer to follow Guruji’s performance, says Rashid Khan’s former disciple Sucheta Bhattacharya as maestro passes away in Kolkata

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It was a challenge for any singer to follow Guruji’s performance, says Rashid Khan’s former disciple Sucheta Bhattacharya as maestro passes away in Kolkata
It was a challenge for any singer to follow Guruji’s performance, says Rashid Khan’s former disciple Sucheta Bhattacharya as maestro passes away in Kolkata

The Indian music trade misplaced one other star as vocalist par excellence Ustad Rashid Khan misplaced a extended battle with prostate most cancers and breathed his final on Tuesday (January 9, 2024). The maestro died at a hospital in Kolkata. He was 55 years previous.

Blessed with a baritone voice, Khan was the tenth era face of the Rampur Sahaswan Gharana, who had enthralled music lovers throughout the globe along with his singing model and renditions.

Connected to India reached out to Sucheta Bhattacharya, a former disciple of Ustad Rashid Khan and a famend music trainer primarily based in Singapore.

Bhattacharya first met Khan in 1991 and began her musical journey underneath his tutelage. The guru was solely 22 years previous, however even then he was a drive to be reckoned with. As a younger scholar herself, Bhattacharya discovered her guru to be a humble, down-to-earth man, who, regardless of his rising repute, saved issues easy. Excerpts from her account of Rashid Khan:

My elder brothers have sacrificed a lot for my music coaching and wherever I’m immediately is due to them. It was boro dada’s (eldest brother) thought to prepare with Rashid Khan. One day he mentioned, “How about getting her educated by Rashid Khan?” Mejda (center brother) agreed and mentioned, “Okay, let me get in contact.” Then my Mejda met Rashid Khan and Ustadji agreed to train me. The yr was 1991.

He was very younger at the moment and was an upcoming singer, and he was performing in a lot of exhibits and was effectively regarded for his singing model.

I met him for the primary time contained in the ITC Sangeet Research Academy. He was carrying a pair of trousers and a kurta. I went and touched his toes. He mentioned that his tuition centre was far away from there. It was far into the interiors of Tollygunge, the place he carried out his courses. It was his buddy’s home as he didn’t have a place of his personal.

The first day, he requested me to sing and I sang a classical music. He then requested about my earlier coaching. I instructed him in regards to the gurus and he mentioned “thik ache” (okay), then he taught me Raag Yaman that day.

He was additionally busy at the moment. He was continually travelling to Bombay (Mumbai) and Bangalore (Bengaluru) and rarely had the time. But he used to train us throughout no matter spare time he had.

Numerous college students from in and round Barrackpore (her father’s place), Ichapur and Shyamnagar, would additionally journey to take coaching from him. He at all times had a lot of affection for me, and understood my model and expertise. However, our coaching was affected due to lack of continuity.

He was travelling continually and didn’t have a fastened place for these courses. It would at all times be somebody’s house the place these courses would happen and it was troublesome to contact him at occasions, as there was no cell phone again then.

We even dialled the residence of Ustad Nisar Hussain Khan, his grandfather, who lived in the Sangeet Academy quarters and Rashid ji would keep there largely. But we wouldn’t get a correct response. Still, the coaching was occurring and I learnt slowly.

He was such a humble, down-to-earth man. He would continually hum a composition. Even whereas travelling in a taxi, say whereas we’re travelling with him, he would carry on buzzing the composition.

Then he received married. I believe it was 1992. So I went to meet him at some point with my brother and he mentioned, “Janis toh, amar biye hoye geche.” (You know, I received married) He had additionally purchased an residence then and wished to begin his musical courses.

He used to name me Mamoni, which is my pet title. He was going to Bombay for a present and had a request for my brother. He requested him to let me keep at his residence in his absence to give firm to his newly married spouse. I didn’t carry any gown with me. My brother mentioned I’d come again the following day with my mom.

It was a Sunday after I met Guru Maa for the primary time. The subsequent day my mom took me to Guruji’s flat and I stayed with Guru Maa for a fortnight. She cherished me a lot. She requested me to name her ‘Maa’.

Guruji’s residence didn’t have a phone then. An adjoining residence had one and the decision can be made there, and they might inform Guru Maa about it and she or he would go and speak to him on the phone.

Guruji requested Guru Maa to inform me to keep together with her for a few extra days, however I couldn’t as I had to attend a rehearsal for an upcoming present.

I had visited their residence a number of occasions after that however couldn’t proceed my classes. He was busy and slowly I was getting busy as effectively. Amid all these, I misplaced my father. I received married after that and moved to Delhi.

I met ustadji once more in 2004 on the India Habitat Centre in Delhi. I received a ticket and went to pay attention to his efficiency. One factor about ustadji, it was a challenge for any artiste to follow his efficiency.

I as soon as listened to him sing Raag Bageshri at Shrirampur Sangeet Samaj, it was unparalleled. The ambiance he created along with his rendition remains to be etched in my reminiscence. He might join with the gods whereas singing.

He was really blessed. He was so gifted and had boons from the gods themselves. So younger and gifted and obtained so many awards at such a younger age.

Coming again to the Habibat Centre, I met him in the inexperienced room and he was stunned. He mentioned, “Tor biye hoye geche?” (You received married?). He was bowled over as we didn’t have any connection for so lengthy. We spoke about Guru Maa and he mentioned she remembered me and would have the ability to recognise me. That was additionally our final assembly.

I’ve been dwelling in Singapore for a very very long time and haven’t been ready to meet up with him since.

I like Aaoge Jab Tum, which was sung by him. More than that, I like his classical and semi classical compositions like Tu Jag Me Sharam Rak (in Raaj Yaman), his rendition of Yaad Piya Ki Aaye, Tore Bina Mohe Chain Nahi (Raag Kirwani). All his songs are phenomenal.

Bhattacharya is related to the Global Indian International School, Singapore, as a music trainer and in addition teaches music on the Singapore Bangladesh Society.

She and her husband additionally run Indian Music and Arts- a music faculty primarily based in Singapore.

The account was narrated to CtoI Senior Correspondent Sudipto Maity in Bengali and has been translated into English.

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