Bismillah Khan has given many memorable performances both in India and abroad. His first trip abroad was to Afghanistan where King Zahir Shah was so taken in by the maestro that he gifted him priceless Persian carpets and other souvenirs. The King of Afghanistan was not the only one to be fascinated with Bismillah’s music. Film director Vijay Bhatt was so impressed after hearing Bismillah play at a festival that he named a film after the instrument called Gunj Uthi Shehnai. The film was a hit, and one of Bismillah Khan’s compositions, “Dil ka khilona hai toot gaya ...,” turned out to be a nationwide chartbuster! Despite this huge success in the celluloid world, Bismillah Khan’s ventures in film music were limited to two: Vijay Bhatt’s Gunj Uthi Shehnai and Vikram Srinivas’s Kannada venture, Sanadhi Apanna. “I just can’t come to terms with the artificiality and glamour of the film world,” he says with emphasis.
Bismillah Khan gave many unforgettable performances, both within and outside the country. His first abroad trip was to Afghanistan. The performance was a huge success that the King of Afghanistan Zahir Shah, was so absorbed by his distinguished talent. The King gifted him precious Persian carpets and other mementoes as a token of appreciation. The King was not the only one fascinated by his skilled music.
Film director Vijay Bhatt had listened to Bismillah play at a music festival. Vijay Bhatt was so impressed that he made a film, based on the shehnai instrument - called "Gunj Uthi Shehnai", meaning 'The Wedding Bells (shehnai sound) Have Started Ringing'. The film was a big hit and it featured Bismillah's composition "Dil ka khilona hai toot gaya ...,”, meaning "heart is broken...". This song was a huge record-breaker. Bismillah went on to do another film with Director Vikram Srinivas - "Sanadhi Apanna", meaning Shehnai Apanna, the films dealt with the life of a rural shehnai artiste Apanna. This film was a roaring success too. However, even though Bismillah had such huge success in the film industry, he did not continue. He did not like the artificiality and the glamour of the film world.
Meanings of difficult words:
maestroa distinguished performer of classical music
souvenira thing that is kept as a reminder of a person, place, or event
chart busterrecord breaker
venturesprojects that often involve risk
taken in byattracted or charmed by
celluloidold-fashioned way of referring to films
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. The Shehnai of Bismillah Khan (pp. 21-29). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.