BEGUM AKHTAR: The Story Of My Ammi

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Item Code: IDF033
Author: Shanti Hiranand
Publisher: Viva Books Private Limited
Language: English
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 8130901722
Pages: 191 (B & W Illus: 53)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.7" X 7.4"
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Shipped to 153 countries
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More than 1M+ customers worldwide
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100% Made in India
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23 years in business
From the Jacket :

Begum Akhtar, b. circa. 1904-d, 1974, a legend in her own lifetime, is one such person on whom there is no available biography. A pioneer in the field of Indian light classical music she helped popularize the traditional form of thumri and ghazal gayaki and took it to the concert level all over India and abroad.

Unfortunately, despite her talents, an entire generation of Indians has grown up listening to only gossip connected with Begum Akhtar's life; be it the controversy surrounding the Nawab of Rampur or her other alleged affairs.

This is what Shanti Hiranand has attempted in her memoirs. It is a book that will hopefully provide a salve to all those open wounds surrounding Begum Akhtar's persona.

Shantiji has examined her beloved Ammi with the objective philosophical gaze of a woman and has shown us a side of Begum Akhtar that was hitherto hidden in the dusty corridors of House No. 1, Havelock Road, Lucknow.

"...It is interesting how these two women from seemingly diverse backgrounds could come to such an exalted level of understanding between themselves, in times that were not very conducive to such social interactions. Shantiji belonged to an upper middle-class business family. She had a liberal education and was used to a certain space and freedom to pursue her own passions, while Begum Akhtar lived within the cloistered environs of a typical feudal home in those days. On the one hand Shantiji was an austere Gandhian and Begum Akhtar was  a person of deep indulgences. It is amazing that Shantiji's parents never stood in her way: they never stopped her from being with her 'Ammi'. On the contrary on occasions it was Shantiji's mother who encouraged her to follow her Guru right until the end..."

About the Author:

Shanti Hiranand was born in a business family in Lucknow. Her penchant for music goes back to her childhood. Soon it became an all consuming passion for her. Starting her early training at the Music College in Lucknow, she had to shift to Lahore in the early forties because of her father's business interests. Her first performance was on Radio Lahore in 1947. After partition her family shifted back to Lucknow and she started training under Ustad Aijaz Hussain Khan of Rampur. Alongside she continued performing on AIR. She met her Guru, Guide and Mentor in Begum Akhtar in 1957. Ammi trained her in the traditional forms of thumri, dadra and ghazal singing. Begum Akhtar's passing away in 1974 drove her to dedicate her entire efforts to excel in the art given to her by her Guru.


A word about Shanti Hiranand's book on Begum AkhtarXI
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