From The Jacket
He is the maestro of the sitar who can create musical magic on its strings. As aficionados say, when Ustad Vilayat Khan plays, you are guaranteed an unforgettable melodic experience-a medley of ragas played in the purest classical traditions.
For Vilayat Khan, life has been a colourful musical journey. He was born into an illustrious gharana that traces its roots to the legendary Mughal singer Mian Tansen. He is the son of the sitar legend Ustad Inayat Khan, but had to face years of struggle as his father died young.
Today Vilayat Khan continues to play in the gharana's tradition of gayaki ang. This is the story of a musician whose talents were recognised when he was a child, and who dedicated his life to his only passion-the sitar.
Niharika Seth, a young talent currently pursues writing and acting. She has also written the biography of Russi Mody. She has been the Chief Editor of times of India's children's newspaper and has actively written for various other newspapers and magazines. Being the niece of veteran actor Roshan Seth, she begun her career on stage at the tender age of eight and grew up to perform at the National School of Drama Theatre Festivals. She recently made her debut on the silver screen with the film "Mr. And Mrs. Iyer" and also completed a film in the U. S. A.
Charitavali is a series of biographies dedicated to the legendary figures of India. The series presents the lives of great kings, freedom fighters, political thinkers, social reformers, pioneers of industry, eminent scientists, philosophers, artists, musicians, dancers and film stars, writers and sports people. These biographies have been written for the reader who is curious about the life, achievements and character o these legends. Full of fascinating stories and facts, written in an easy, story telling style, these biographies will make these great Indians and their times come alive for the reader.
A young boy, about eleven years old, with crumpled clothes and untidy tousled hair was seen sneaking past a Pathan watchman at the gates of the All India Radio Station in New Delhi. Only he knew how arduous his journey had been. He had changed ten trains from Kolkata to get here. He had no luggage, the only thing he had with him, was his sitar
This little urchin made his way into the station, his eyes filled with a wild energy of purpose. He walked up proudly to the programme assistant Zafar Husain, and announced in a shrill voice: 'I am Vilayat Khan, son of the late Inayat Khan Sahab' For a moment the entire room stood still. Everyone looked at this strange little boy, whose face was flushed more with pride than exhaustion. The spell finally broke when Zafar Husain folded the young lad into a loving embrace as he could not believe that this was the son of his beloved guru.
When he asked the boy what he was doing there, he could not get much out of him, except for a threat delivered in a quavering voice that assured them that he would surely run away again if they tried to send him back home. Then the boy burst into tears and began to shake convulsively. It was a sight pitiable enough for AIR's Director General A. A. Bokhari to decide that he would take care of this fatherless child. To distract his from crying, he gently asked him if he could play the sitar he was carrying with him. The child stopped crying, and transfixed the entire gathering with an immediate burst of Raag Bhairvavi. Everyone at the station gathered to listen, and after the musical piece was over, senior sitarist Hyder Husain Khan of the Jaipur Gharana exclaimed, 'Inayat Khan is still alive, he is here in this boy' It was obvious that Vilayat Khan Sahab was no ordinary child
he was the beginning of a legend.
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