Thursday, August 10, 2006

Dhrupad maestro Asghari passes away in Madhya Pradesh: Sumran kar man Ram naam ki...

Asghari Bai
Dhrupad maestro Ashgari Bai, 88, passed away at Tikamgarh on Wednesday.

An exponent of this ancient style of Hindustani music, Asghari Bai was credited for taking forward the age-old tradition.

She was a pioneering exponent of Dhrupad among women. Asghari was acclaimed for enriching the heritage of Indian classical music.

Also, she had evolved a distinct style of her own. Asghari was buried on Thursday in Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh with full state honours. Crowned with umpteen national honours including the Tansen Samman, Shikhar Samman and Padma Shri, she was born in Bijawar in 1918.

He mother Nazir Begum was associated with Chhatarpur state while grandmother Vilayat was employed with the court of Ajaygarh state. She was admitted in the hospital for a a long time.

But whenever she gained consciousness, her fingers would start moving as if she was in the midst of a performance. 'Sumran kar man Ram naam ki...' was her favourite bhajan that came on her lips.

Asghari never travelled outside and only preferred cycle-rickshaw. She felt that journey in train would be improper as her feet in the train could point towards holy places. She had learnt her basics under Ustad Zahurbakhsh Khan and acquired extraordinary expertise.

However, she was living in penury after her children fought over her pension and for share in grants from the government meant for her. She was sick and lying unattended when media brought to light her plight early this year.

The squabble among her sons Kamal, Ashok and daughter-in-law Saira, had left her bitter. She wished to stay with Parveen, her daughter. With Asghari ended an era. The first and last woman exponent of Dhrupad died leaving behind no one to carry the legacy.