Srimati Tanibai Kagalkar

From PhalkeFactory

Bapusaheb Kagalkar, the brother of Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur, had in his employ a female singer called Krishnabai Kolhapurkarin. Krishnabai, having decided that her daughter Tanibai should receive musical training from none other than Alladiya Khan, began to pester her employer to arrange for the tuition. Bapusaheb had serious doubts whether Alladiya Khan would come to Kolhapur for one solitary tuition. But if he was simultaneously offered a position as a Court Singer he might agree to migrate to Kolhapur. Accordingly, once when he and his princely brother happened to be in Bombay, he took the ruler to one of Alladiya Khan's concerts. The Raja of Kolhapur was greatly impressed with Alladiya Khan's music. He thought such a highly talented person would be an asset to his state and appointed him a Court Singer. This was in 1895 or 1896. Alladiya Khan accordingly moved with his family from Bombay to Kolhapur.

The ruler gave him a house to live in and also looked after other members of Khansaheb's family. Khansaheb's brother, Haider Khan, was appointed a State Singer, younger son Manji Khan was awarded a piece of land and his elder brother Bhurji Khan was given a job in the forest department. Alladiya Khan's official duties included singing twice a week in the Bhawani Temple in the old palace and putting in an occasional appearance and performing in the temple on special religious occasions such as Navaratri festival. Private engagements, if any, could be accepted with the ruler's permission. During the period 1896 to 1921-22 music lovers of Kolhapur had plenty of opportunities to hear Khansaheb in his prime. Until then Kolhapur audiences had only heard the relatively straightforward music of the Gwalior tradition. In comparison, what Khansaheb presented was a new genre of music which made even common ragas appear more beautiful and full of unexpected twists and turns.

Khansaheb Rajaballi Khan and his father Mugal Khan were in Kolhapur at that time. The novelty and tantalizing quality of Alladiya Khan's music made the most profound impression on Rajaballi. He never neglected to attend Khansaheb's palace recitals. What is more, he made it a practice secretly to station himself in a neighbouring house and listen in on Khansaheb when he was doing riyaz in his own house. He would then go home and try to reproduce what he had heard. Having done this year after year, Rajaballi's music began to reflect an unmistakable influence of Khansaheb's style.

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