After the sad demise of the Sarod maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, everyone now knows that he is survived by his American wife Mary and eleven children from three marriages. Latest buzz is that Ali Akbar Khan’s burial became a bone of contention between his wife Mary and the daughter from his previous wife Rajdulari, Aneesa Chaudhuri. Mary intended to perform the last rites of the genius in San Francisco, but Aneesa had accused her of denying Khan Sahib‘s last wish to be buried beside the graves of his parents in Maihar, Madhya Pradesh in India. She also accused Mary of not hospitalising the maestro well in time. Khan Sahib died of renal failure at his San Anselmo home, California, on Friday, 19th June 2009.
It is no secret that Ustad Ali Akbar Khan was married early, in 1938 to his first wife Zubeida. Many of us however, do not know much of his second wife, Rajdulari. She apparently was a renowned vocalist of her time, who won several awards, including the first prize in an All India music competition in Allahabad.
Not many recordings of Rajdulari are availabe now. I happen to possess two very rare compositions sung by her. These exotic and sensual renditions represent the highest art of classical singing, and are further enhanced by the accompaniment of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan on the swarmandal and Mahapurush Misra on the tablas.
Rajdulari Ali Akbar Khan – Raga Kirwani : (Download)
Rajdulari Ali Akbar Khan – Raga Imni Bilawal : (Download)
The record label was Connoisseur Society, and the LP was released sometime in 1967. It definitely sounds extraordinary to me.
Comments are welcome.