Together in the journey of life

Together in the journey of life

The genius of the sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan is respected worldwide but it is his better half, Subhalakshmi Barooah Khan, who he credits for introducing him to folk music.

“It is because of her involvement that I understood the culture and music of Assam. She is the soul and the spirit of our family. She has taken the responsibility of coordinating our concerts and designing our kurtas,” he says.

The couple was in the City recently to promote the Sankaradeva Movement. Subhalakshmi adds, “I would  say that when the burden comes with pleasure, it is enjoyed. I have deep respect for art and culture and music in particular. I am automatically drawn to people who are involved with the refinement of culture. Being an artiste myself, after my marriage, I realised that Khan sahab has a lot to give to the world. He is a part of an unbroken chain of six generations of artistes. My sons, Amaan and Ayaan, are the seventh generation.”

She admits that she always wanted her children to follow in their father’s footsteps. “I wanted to be a good mother and prayed that they would continue what they had inherited. When Amaan performed as a child, I was tense. Then Ayaan followed and soon, they started performing together. I was very nervous and broke down during the first few concerts,” she recollects.

Amjad Ali Khan asserts that he always wanted his sons to be tolerant and good musicians. “Fortunately and unfortunately, we were both unemployed parents. So, we could give a lot of time to Amaan and Ayaan. We wanted them to be good human beings, tolerant and good musicians,” he says.

The couple hail from different parts of the country but this hasn’t created any barriers between them. “Our family believes that we are a common race. We have tried to instil the same belief in our children — humanity is our religion. I feel that education has not helped in instilling tolerance among people. I often say that education cannot create compassion and humanity among people. What we want to give to the society is the message of peace and unity,” adds Amjad Ali Khan.

Ask them about Bangalore and their eyes light up. “It is great to come here,” he says.
“I feel that the awareness about music — especially classical music — is much higher here. I believe that fine arts refine one’s life.

Fine arts don’t have to be performed all the time; it dwells within oneself,” she concludes.

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