An illustrious journey

Book Reading

An illustrious journey

The occasion was the reading of the book Boro Baba, Ustad Alaudin Khan, a magisterial account authored by Sahana Gupta, the eldest great grand-daughter of Alaudin Khan, at the Oxford Bookstore.

The event was a loving tribute to the legendary musician Ustad Alaudin Khan and was enriched by readings of selected excerpts from the book by the author and an exquisite sarod recital by her brother Shiraz Ali Khan. The book is a reflection of Baba Alaudin’s life and his unparalleled dedication and discipline that placed him among the finest musicians of the world.

It tells the story of a man who sought oneness with God through his music. Sahana talked about her memoir which portrays the life account of Baba. “It took almost five years to compile this book. I was thrilled to write about one of the finest instrumentalists in the world and it was a matter of pride for me. But collecting information was the challenge. Finally, I drew the story of his life from his handwritten manuscripts, photographs and letters. In the process, I noticed in him an ordinary man with innate simplicity,” says Sahana.

Sahana's book being released.The book begins when Khan, as a 12-year-old boy from Shibpur (now in Bangladesh), runs away from home after being enamoured by the music of some sadhus and takes one through his chequered and fascinating life, from the time, he survived on alms just to learn music to achieving the status of a maestro.

Pramodhini, an ardent book-lover, who was present on the occasion, had all praises for the book. “I think Sahana has done an excellent job by introducing such a great man to the readers. It appeals to every class of people regardless of their knowledge in music,” she says.

The sarod recital by Shiraz Ali Khan, a promising future musician, was the prime attraction of the event. The team took primary inspiration from Indian classical music and gradually decorated the fabric tirelessly with Western classical blues and jazz.

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