Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Abhimaan, starring superstar Amitabh Bachchan and his wife Jaya, was loosely based on Annapurna-Shankar's love story.
New Delhi: A gifted musician, a diligent daughter, a dedicated wife ― yet a loner all her life. A Padma Bhushan awardee, Annapurna Devi was born in Madhya Pradesh's Maihar town to Ustad 'Baba' Allauddin Khan and Madina Begum. She was the youngest of four children, the spokesperson said.
She died at Breach Candy hospital in Mumbai on Saturday, hospital officials said. She was 91. She was suffering from age-related issues for the past few years, hospital officials said.
Though people know her as Allauddin Khan’s daughter and Pandit Ravi Shankar’s first wife, there are many aspects of her life that are still unknown to the world. People who have heard her playing Surbahar publicly consider themselves lucky and remember how it was a moment of fulfillment for them.
Annapurna Devi contributed to the Hindustani classical music more than she is credited for. A look at her life and achievements:
> She was born Roshanara Khan in 1927 to maestro Allauddin Khan.
> Her orthodox father decided to teach only his male progeny Ali Akbar Khan and not Roshanara.
> Things changed after her elder sister Jahanara, who was a trained as Tanpura player, was tortured by her in-laws for pursuing music.
> This affected Baba Allaudin (as he was famously called by his disciples) and he decided that he shall never teach any of the daughters. But he changed his mind after he saw Roshnara's dedication.
> Within a few years of learning classical vocal music, Sitar and Surbahar from her father, she excelled in each one of them. Surbahar is very close to a sitar, but has a lower pitch. It is sometimes referred to as a bass sitar; it is a plucked string instrument. It remained popular from the middle of the nineteenth century until the beginning of the twentieth century.
> Love blossomed between the music classes after Pandit Ravi Shankar joined her father's school. He sought Baba's permission to marry her. Roshanara was 14 and Ravi Shankar 21 when they got married.
> The union also started a new musical journey for the famous trio of Annapurna (she had converted to Hinduism after her marriage), Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan.
> She performed many duets with Shankar in the 1950s. Whenever they performed together, she always received more plaudits than him. People believe this was the main reason for their marriage to fall apart. Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Abhimaan, starring superstar Amitabh Bachchan and his wife Jaya, was loosely based on Annapurna-Shankar's love story.
> The couple was blessed with a son Shubhendra Shankar (1942-1992), whom she tutored before Pt Shankar took the son away from the mother to the United States to perform with him.
> Her life changed after her marriage completely dissolved with Shankar. She helped her father, who founded the famous Maihar gharana , in training a new generation of disciples like Pandit Nikhil Bannerjee and Ustad Bahadur Khan.
> Some of her famous students were Ustad Aashish Khan, flutists Hariprasad Chaurasia and Nityanand Haldipur, sitarists Chandrakant Sardeshmukh, Sudhir Phadke, Rooshikumar Pandya, Sarodists Pradeep Barot, Basant Kabra, and Kokila Rai.
> Annapurna Devi devoted herself completely to music and led a secluded life after her son and father died.
> She later married Rooshikumar Pandya, a management consultant, who passed away in 2013.
> She was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1977, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1991 and also Deshikottam (the doctorate degree by Vishva Bharti University) in 1999.
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Last Updated Oct 13, 2018, 4:44 PM IST