Big B releases Ustad Amjad Ali Khan's father's memoirs

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan unveiled Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan’s tribute to his father, Ustad Haafiz Ali Khan, titled My Father, Our Fraternity.

The book, based on the latter’s life was released last night at a five-star hotel in central Mumbai. The launch coincided with the 40th death anniversary of his father.

Amitabh Bachchan and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan
Smiles all around: Ustad Amjad Ali Khan shares a light moment with Amitabh Bachchan at the book launch of My Father, Our Fraternity, a tribute to Ustad Haafiz Ali Khan. Pic/Satyajit Desai

The book is based on the sarod maestro’s memories of his father and includes anecdotes and narrations from a diary that Khan had written between 1984 and 1986.

It presents an insider view into the life and times of his father, offering a glimpse of the guru-shishya parampara, and the path of the young Amjad Ali Khan’s rise and growth into a pillar in Indian classical music.

The book also has rare archival photographs dating back from the 1930s and 40s till present day footage.

The death of sitar maestro, Pandit Ravi Shankar was also mourned as the evening began with a one-minute silence to remember the legend.

In fact, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan’s wife, Subhalakshmi Khan said that musicians deserve importance and that Pandit Ravi Shankar’s demise should have been observed as a national holiday.

Recalling his father’s connect with music, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan said, “His entire life was music. There are books available on other musicians, nothing on my father. So, I decided to write that book. Our relationship was more of a guru-shishya than that of father and son. He could love me when he wanted and not when I wanted. There was that kind of respect that I had for him,” he added.

Amitabh Bachchan added to this, “The documentation of our ancestors is slowly getting lost. Their contribution to society, art and culture needs to be kept alive. They are gone, but teachings have remained with us and we need to share that with the current generation,” said Bachchan.

The Ustad spoke at length of being his father’s son: “I am happy that I was born as his son. He was a great musician — everybody knew that, but he was also a very compassionate man. People like my father were very simple, and I am lucky to have known them.”

The evening, which was attended by Abhishek Bachchan and his wife Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, had several big names from the music industry in attendance too, including ghazal maestro Pankaj Udhas, besides the entire Khan family including sons Aman and Ayan Ali Khan and wife Subhalakshmi and Pandit Satish Vyas.

Social commentator Suhel Seth as well as Roli Books publisher Pramod Kapoor were also present at the gathering. 

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