Farewell Annapurna Devi!
Hariprasad Chaurasia was a right-handed flute player. He was established as well.
But he gave up that career, changed his hand, only to get training in music from Annapurna Devi (Rowshan Ara Begum).
Goddess gave the condition – to learn from her, all previous teachings have to be forgotten, have to learn from the very beginning. Stubborn Chaurasia promised to fulfill the conditions. Hence for the rest of his life, he did not play the flute with his right hand once.
Seeing the devotion of the disciple, Devi gave him all her music. Not only music, but she also gave him the discipline of food and exercise – prayer and rest. Over the years, he had developed the Hariprasad Chaurasia of today.
Chaurasia’s learning from Devi [ probably turned 46 years Today] ended with Devi’s departure.
Today, Devi’s identity is being written – Baba Ostad Alauddin Khan Sahib’s daughter and disciple. Some people wrote Ravi Shankar’s wife. But I think the biggest identity of one teacher is his/her students. The teacher’s height is understood by seeing the disciple.
It is understood that if she wouldn’t have stopped playing publicly, or wouldn’t have left recording, what kind of surbahar we could be fortunate to hear!! How unfortunate are we!!
We wish the peace of Annapurna Devi.
Let her music survive among her disciples, let live the name of the Maihahar Gharana.
Read more about Annapurna Devi :
As per Wikipedia : Annapurna Devi (Annapūrṇā Devi; 1927–13 October 2018) was an Indian surbahar (bass sitar) player of Hindustani classical music. She was given the name ‘Annapurna’ by former Maharaja Brijnath Singh of the former Maihar Estate (M.P.), and it was by this name that she was popularly known. She was the daughter and disciple of Allauddin Khan, the founder of Maihar gharana, and Madina Bibi and the first wife of the sitar player, Ravi Shankar.
After her separation from Ravi Shankar, she moved to Bombay and never performed again in public. She remained a private person, yet continued to teach music for free. Her students include many notable disciples including Hariprasad Chaurasia, Nityanand Haldipur and Nikhil Banerjee.
Annapurna Devi was born on 15 April 1927 [confirmed by Lajo ji] at Maihar, a small princely state of British India (now a part of Madhya Pradesh, India). Her father Alauddin Khan was a royal court musician at the court of Maharaja Brijnath Singh, who named the newborn girl ‘Annapurna’.
Her father and guru Alauddin Khan, founder of the “Senia Maihar gharana” or “Senia Maihar School” of Hindustani classical music, was a noted musician and guru of Indian classical music. Her uncles, Fakir Aftabuddin Khan and Ayet Ali Khan, were noted musicians at their native place Shibpur, in the present-day Bangladesh. Her brother Ali Akbar Khan was a legendary Sarod maestro and was considered a “national living treasure” in India and the USA.
Annapurna was initially instructed by her father in the sitar and vocals. She then switched to the surbahar which she played in the traditional style of a rudra veena. One of her earliest concerts of note was with the surbahar when she played in honor of the Raja of Maihar. She was rewarded with a large tract of land for her performance.
Annapurna Devi married renowned sitarist, Ravi Shankar, on 15 May 1941 in Almora and divorced him in October 1982. Between 1946 and 1955, Annapurna appeared on stage with Shankar in a handful of sitar-surbahar duets in Delhi and Bombay (now Mumbai). They had a son, Shubhendra Shankar (1942–1992), who was also a musician.
Annapurna married Rooshikumar Pandya in Bombay on 9 December 1982. Rooshikumar Pandya, who was 42 years old at the time of their marriage, was a well-known communication expert and a successful sitarist in the United States. Rooshikumar had been learning sitar from her since 1973 at the recommendation of her brother, Ali Akbar Khan, who was also his guru (as was Ravi Shankar). He died in 2013 suddenly of a cardiac arrest at the age of 73. Annapurna Devi died of age-related issues on 13 October 2018 in Mumbai… More in Wikipedia