Begum Akhtar Biography:
Begum Akhtar was born on October 7, 1914, in the city of Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh. Her name was Akhtaribai Faizabadi, although she was very popular as Begum Akhtar. Her family belonged to the upper classes of society and was not even inclined to music.
At an early age, she showed interest in music and was sent to practice with the great sarangi player Ustad Imdad Khan. Later, she learned classical music from major representatives of the subject such as Mohammad Khan, Abdul Waheed Khan and Ustad Jhande Khan Saheb. Read the story of Begum Akhtar’s life in this short biography.
At the tender age of fifteen, she gave her first public presentation. The people were moved by her voice and immediately gained recognition. Its ghazals even impressed the famous Indian poet Sarojini Naidu and were highly praised during a concert dedicated to the victims of the Bihar earthquake.
Her first recording was made by the Megaphone Record Company and they released many records with their melodic ghazals, thumris, dadras, etc. In the decade of 1930, Begum Akhtar also starred in some Hindi films, the Ameena (1934), Mumtaz Begum (1934 ) contain. ), Jawaani Ka Nasha (1935), Naseeb Ka Chakkar (1935). In all these movies she sang all her songs herself.
Begum Akhtar returned to Lucknow when famous director Mehboob Khan approached her for a film entitled “Roti”. The music was composed by the famous Anil Biswas. The film was released in 1942, in which Begum Akhtar had sung six ghazals. Unfortunately, four of the ghazals were eliminated due to some tensions between the producer and the director. The movie was appreciated by everyone and the music surprised the industry.
Begum Akhtar married in 1945 the lawyer Ishtiaq Ahmed Abbasi. Due to family restrictions, Begum Akhtar could not sing for nearly five years. She became ill and her only medicine was music. In 1949, she returned to the radio station Lucknow and sang three ghazals and a father. She felt so happy and content that she cried for joy. Then she continued to give concerts and sang concerts until her death.
Begum Akhtar was persuaded by Madan Mohan, a famous music director, to sing in two films: Daana Paani (1953) and Ehsaan (1954). The songs “Aye Ishq Mujhe Aur in Kuch Yaad” and “Hamein Dil My Basa Bhi Lo” were absolutely melodious and appreciated by all.
Her last movie was that of a classic singer of the movie “Jalsa Ghar” by Satyajit Ray. Begum Akhtar was a refined singer of Ghazal and was called Mallika-e-Ghazal or Queen of the Ghazals. Her singing style is inimitable and few can match his style. Most of the compositions were self-composed and based on ragas.
Begum Akhtar played for the last time during a concert in Ahmedabad. That day, she felt that her voice was not good enough and she raised her voice. This put a great strain on her and her health deteriorated. The situation became critical and had to be hospitalized. She gave her last breath on October 30, 1974, and left many fans disappointed and heartbroken.
1968: Padma Shri
1972: Sangeet Natak Akademi Prize
1975: Padma Bhushan (posthumous)
In memory of Begum Akhtar, by Shahid Ali Agha. The United States Inter Culture Associates, 1979.
Great masters of Hindustani music, by Susheela Misra. Published by Hem Publishers, 1981. Chapter 26.
Begum Akhtar: The Queen of Ghazal, by Sutapa Mukherjee. Rupa & Co, 2005, ISBN 81-7167-985-4.
Begum Akhtar: The story of my Ammi, by Shanti Hiranand. Published by Viva Books, 2005. ISBN 81-309-0172-2.
Ae Mohabbat … In Memory of Begum Akhtar, by Jyoti Sabharwal and Rita Ganguly, 2008, ISBN 978-81-904559-3-0.
Begum Akhtar: Voice of Love, by S. Kalidas. 2009.
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