Friday, September 28, 2012

Malika e Ghazal - Begum Akhtar

Listening to Begum Akhtar's captivating singing of ghazals invoke loving memories of my late parents when I was first exposed to her music in the early 60'. She was Abajan's favorite and Amie, being from Rampur, loved to sing Shakil Baduni poetry in her style at small family gatherings when we were children.

It is our good fortune that Begum saheba was singing during a period when there were significant recordings made of her delightful mehfils and radio performances that are now available on CDs. Here is a collection of love poems from Badaun, Moradabad and Bhopal. Akhtar had at her disposal a treasure trove of good Urdu poetry from her contemporaries of the region. Born in district Faizabad, UP, she was better known as Akhtari Bai Faizabadi prior to her marriage. Her life was dedicated to music and she is still loved and admired by music lovers the world over. As far as Ghazal singing goes, she is still considered the gold standard to this day.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did.

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