25 October, 2020

The Legend's Collage

The Legend's Collage

THE legend possibly had a heart of a child. His greatest passion outside music seemed to have been framing pictures, ads, posters of anything that caught his child-like fancy. So the green walls of the two small 100 sq-ft ground floor rooms in Baba Allaudin Khan's home in Maihar are crammed with over 100 framed pictures—Vivekananda, Tagore, Yehudi Menuhin, Beethoven, Queen Elizabeth, Nehru, his children, a young Ravi Shankar, a Ponds Dreamflower poster, a Binaca baby powder ad.

The tables are stacked with his books—mostly Bengali detective journals and Satyajit Ray whodunits. Carefully preserved on a side-table are his ear buds, inkpots, ashtray, a pack of cigars and chappals on the jute carpet. In these rooms, the maestro gave Ravi Shankar, Annapoorna Devi and his son, Ali Akbar Khan their first lessons in music. In the drawing room crowded by rosewood sofas and cabinets stacked with his instruments, he welcomed visitors.

Baba Allaudin Khan lived in this quaint brick-red and green two-storey colonial house spread over 1.5 acres of gardens from...



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