In spite of having travelled all over the world — Khansaab as he is fondly called — is exceedingly fond of Benaras and Dumraon and they remain for him the most wonderful towns of the world. A student of his nce wanted him to head a shehnai school in the U.S.A., and the student promised to recreate the atmosphere of Benaras by replicating the temples there. But Khansaab asked him if he would be able to transport River Ganga as well. Later he is remembered to have said, “That is why whenever I am in a foreign country, I keep yearning to see Hindustan. While in Mumbai, I think of only Benaras and the holy Ganga. And while in Benaras, I miss the unique mattha of Dumraon.”
Ustad Bismillah Khan’s life is a perfect example of the rich, cultural heritage of India, one that effortlessly accepts that a devout Muslim like him can very naturally play the shehnai every morning at the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
In the earlier paragraphs, it was seen that Bismillah travelled far and wide. But he was extremely fond of Benares and Dumraon - where he grew up and learnt the shehnai. It remains the most wonderful towns in the world, for Bismillah. Bismillah Khan was fondly known as "Khansaab" by the people around him.
Bismillah's student wanted him to be in charge of a shehnai school in the USA. The student promised Bismillah that he could recreate the atmosphere and surroundings of Benares. He even said he would replicate the temples there. But Khansaab asked him if he would be able to transport the River Ganga to the USA. He is believed to have said that whenever he is in a foreign country, he keeps longing to see his motherland. Even when in India, if he was in Mumbai, he thought of Benares and River Ganga, and if he was in Benares, he missed the unique Dumraon mattha where he grew up practising his shehnai.
The life of Bismillah Khan is a great example of the rich, diverse, cultural heritage of India. Even though Bismillah was a strict follower of Islam, he easily played the shehnai every morning in the Kashi Vishwanath temple. His music was beyond religious barriers. Such is the unity in diversity of our country.
Meanings of difficult words:
|replicate||make an exact copy|
|yearning||a feeling of intense longing for something|
|devout||believing strongly in a religion and obeying its laws and following its practices|
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.