New Delhi: Google on Wednesday celebrated the 102nd birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna awardee and Shehnai maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan.
To mark the occasion of maestro’s 102nd birth anniversary, Google dedicated its fun doodle to him where Khan can be seen playing his shehnai while casually lounging in his trademark posture. The doodle has been illustrated by a Chennai-based illustrator, Vijay Krish, according to the Google.
Born in 1916, Khan hailed from a family of musicians. His ancestors were court musicians who used to play in Naqqar Khana (an orchestra pit in Mughal-era monuments) in the princely state of Bhojpur, Bihar. His father was a well-known shehnai player who performed in the court of Maharaja Keshav Prasad Singh of Dumraon Estate, Bihar.
At the age of six, he moved to Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, where he received his formal training under his uncle, Ali Bux ‘Vilayatu’, a shehnai player attached to Vishwanath Temple. He performed at the Red Fort on India’s Independence Day and also on the first Republic Day ceremony on January 26, 1950.
Ustad Bismillah dearly referred to his shehnai as his begum or wife. His dedication to the art form was highly appreciated. He was famously quoted saying, “Even if the world ends, the music will still survive… music has no caste.” He continues to be among the few musicians to receive the Bharat Ratna along with all of the four Padma awards.