Published: Sun, October 08, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

Google Doodle celebrates Begum Akhtar's 103rd birth anniversary

Google Doodle celebrates Begum Akhtar's 103rd birth anniversary

Search engine giant Google celebrated the 103rd birth anniversary of Begum Akhtar by dedicating today's doodle to her.

Earlier known as Akhtaribai, she married a barrister from Lucknow, Ishtiaq Ahmed Abbasi and started to be known as Begum Akhtar.

Begum Akhtar's genre was, however, not ghazals alone, but also included splendid renderings of Hindustani classical music like Dadra and Thumri.

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She was even conferred with the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan for her enormous contribution to Indian music apart from the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.

Begum Akhtar delivered her first public performance at the tender age of 15 and received appreciation from famous poet Sarojini Naidu for her singing at a concert organised to provide aid to 1934 Nepal-Bihar natural disaster victims. Thus to celebrate the Begum Akhtar and her life, we bring you seven lesser known facts of the legendary songstress.

Begun Akhtar in turn imparted her knowledge to numerous talented singers.

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# She did her first stage performance at the age of 15, and won accolades from the Nightingle Of India, Sarojini Naidu for her singing talent. As her interest developed, she continued her training under various renowned musicians and artistes such as Mohammad Khan, Abdul Waheed Khan of Lahore before finally becoming the disciple of Ustad Jhande Khan.

Apart from her singing, Akhtar also acted in several films, the most notable being Satyajit Ray's Jalsaghar.

Begum Akhtar was persuaded by Madan Mohan, a famous music director to sing in two movies "Daana Paani" (1953) and "Ehsaan" (1954). She was in the city for a concert and fell ill while staging a performace. Begum Akhtar was a refined Ghazal singer and was called as Mallika-e-Ghazal or the Queen of Ghazals. The situation became critical and she had to be rushed to the hospital.

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