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|English (Panorama), Prose
|6. The Shehnai of Bismillah Khan
|No one is the author of this chapter
|Bihar Board Class 9 Solutions
Bihar Board Class 9 English Solutions Chapter 6
The Shehnai of Bismillah Khan
A. Work in small groups and discuss the following:
Have you ever heard a shehnai being played in marriage ceremonies or festivals?
Yes, I have heard a shehnai being played in marriage ceremonies and festivals on so many occasions.
How do you like this instrument?
I like this instrument very much. It has magical power to charm every one.
Discuss any pipe instrument which is played in your local-ity in marriage ceremonies or festivals.
Clarinent is a pipe instrument which is played in my locality in marriage and festivals. This is a part of the band party. The man who plays on the clarinet is the master of the musical party, he heads the party.
Do you know that it was Bismillah Khan, the great Shehnai maestro, who made this instrument a reality? Can you name some leading players of other popular musical instruments?
I know that it was Bismillah Khan the great Shehnai maestro. Who made this instrument a reality. Pandit Ravishanker plays Sifar, Guddai Maharaj Tabla, Amjad Ali Khan SaTod. They are leading players of these popular instruments.
B.1.1. Write ‘T’ for true and ‘F’ for false statements:
- Bismillah Khan belongs to a family of musicians from Uttar Pradesh.
- Bismillah Khan’s ancestors were also great shehnai players.
- The flowing water of the Ganga gave inspiration to Bismillah to create ragas.
- He learnt shehnai from his parent and grandfather.
- — F
- — T
- — T
- — F
B.1.2. Complete the sentences on the basis of the unit you have just studied.
- The pungi is a ——– instrument.
- The pungi became the generic name for——- noise makers.
- The instrument which is so different from the pungi is called ——-
- ————-holes were made on the body of a pipe.
- ————was the Shehnai nawaj of Bhojpuri king’s court.
- ————- was Bismillah’s grandfather.
- Bismillah accompanied——– to the Vishnu temple of Benaras.
- Bismillah played at the temple of———and at the banks of———-as a young apprentice.
- Rasool Bux Khan
- Rasool bux Khan
- Ali Bux
- Balaji and Mangla Maiya, the Ganga.
B.1.3. Answer the following questions very briefly:
Who banned the playing of the pungi?
Emperor Aurangzeb banned the playing of the pungi.
What generic name did the pungi come to acquire?
The pungi became the generic name for reeded the pungi.
Who revived the pungi?
A barber of a family of professional musician revived the pungi.
Where was the Shehnai played for the first time?
The Shehnai was played for the first time in the Shah’s chamber.
Who played the instrument for the first time so different from the pungi?
A barber of a family of professional musicians played the instrument for the first time so different from the pungi.
What is naubat called?
The naubat is traditional ensemble of nine instruments.
Who brought the instrument shehnai on the classical stage?
Ustad Bismillah Khan brought the instrument Shehnai on the classical stage.
Which sport did Bismillah Khan play in his childhood?
In his childhood Bismillah Khan played gilli-danda.
Where did he play the sports?
He played gilli-danda near a pond in the ancient estate of Dumraon in Bihar.
Where did he go to sing the Bhojpuri “Chaita”?
He went to Bihariji temple to sing the Bhdjpuri “Chaita”.
What is the highest civilian award in India?
‘The Bharat Ratna’ is the highest civilian award in In-dia.
Who was Bismillah’s father?
Paigamber Bux was Bismillah’s father.
Who was Bismillah’s mau-nial uncle?
Ali Buxwis Bismillah’s maternal uncle.
B.2.1. Complete the sentences on the basis of the unit you have just Studied
- At the age of fourteen Bismillah accompanied his uncle to ———-
- In 1938 came Bismillah’s first break——— in——— in
- He sang ———- on 15th August 1947.
- His first trip abroad was to ——–
- Film director Vijay Bhatt named his film as ——— after being impressed by the shehnai.
- National awards like the and the————- Padma Vibhushan were conferred on him.
- Bismillah Khan was also referred to as —————-
- An auditorium in Tehran named after him is called ———-
- The Allahabad music conference
- All India Radio, Lucknow
- Ragg Kafi
- Gunj Uthi Shehnai
- Padma Shri, the Padma Bhushan
- Tahar Musiquee Ustad Bismillah Khan.
B.2.2. Write ‘T’ for true and ‘F’ for false statements:
- An auditorium in Tehran was named after Bismillah Khan.
- Bismillah Khan was fondly called ‘Khansaab’
- Khan Saab was a shehnai player of international repute even then no National Awards were conferred on him.
- — T
- — T
- — F
B.2.3. Answer the following questions very briefly:
- When was Bismillah Khan awarded India’s highest civilian award?
- Of which two cities was he most found of?
- In 2001 Bismillah Khan was awarded India’s highest civilian award
- Benaras and Dumraon.
C. Long Answer Type Questions
Which emperor banned the playing of the pungi? Do you think that is against the right to expression?
Emperor Aurangzeb banned the playing of the pungi. I think it is against the right to expression. But it must be thought that it was time of kingship, not ‘democracy.’ Those days a king was free to do that mind it playing Pungi was banned in the palace only not for public places.
Ustad Khan refused the celluloid world after two films. Was it a loss tathe cinema world or gain to Hindustani Music? Discuss.
Ustad Bismillah Khan refused the celluloid world only after two films. It was not much loss to the cinema world because it was a great gain to Indian Hindustani music. Classical music has not much importance to the general public, who go to see a popular cinema. Ustad rejected films because it was an artificial world and it was much too glamorous. He preferred music to money. So it is clear that according to Ustad outside cinema. Natural Hindustani music exists.
Capture in your own words the feeling of the Ustad, when he received Bharat Ratna.
When Ustad Bismillah Khan received the Bharat Ratna he became very happy. The covered award was resting on his chest. His eyes were glinting with more happiness. He told that “All I would like to say is. Teach your children music this is Hindustani’s rishest tradition even the West is now coming to Meant our music.”
‘Only in India it is possible that a devout Muslim like Khan Saheb can very naturally play the shehnai every morning at Kashi Vishwanath temple.’ What light does this statement throw on India’s cultural heritage? Discuss.
India is a land of composite culture. There is religious tolerance in our society. Temple is no place for a muslim. But a muslim like Bismillah Khan used to play shehnai in Hindu Temple. Not only Bismillah but his uncle used to play in different Hindu temples. It makes the composite culture of India tellingly clear. Their playing in temple and getting the love and admiration of all in the bargain is a wonderful example of our rich cultural heritage that denies any sort of discrimination on the basis of religion. It embraces all.
Describe the incident of Ustad Khan visiting Pakistan.
After partition of India Ustad Khan did not want to go to Pakistan. He could not leave Benaras and the Ganga, He went to Pakistan only once. He crossed the boarder justto say that he had been to Pakisten. He was there for only about an hour. He said ‘Namaskar’ to the Pakistanis and ‘Salam Alai-kum’ to the Indians. This was an exchange of language. He had a good laugh at that incident.
How did shehnai get its name? Describe in your own words the process how the Pungi became the shehnai.
The musical instrument was named shehnai because it was bom in the chamber of shah or emperor. The nai or the barber who perfected it also deserved credit. So Shah and nai put together become Shehnai. Shehnai has its origin from the pungi which had an unpleasant sound. A barber decided to improve the tonal quality of this instrument. He chose a pipe.This hollow stem was longer and broader than the Pungi. He drilled seven holes in it. It now ‘produced a musical sound. The nai played it in the chamber of Emperor Aurangzeb. It became popular in course of time.
Comprehension Based Questions with Answers
- Emperor Aurangzeb banned the playing of a musical instrument called pungi in the royal residence, for it had a shrill unpleasant sound. The pungi became the generic name for reeded noisemakers. Few had thought that it would one day be revived. A barber of a family of professional musicians, who had access to the royal palace, decided to improve the tonal quality of the pungi. He chose a pipe with a natural hollow stem that was longer and broader than the pungi, and made seven holes on the body of the pipe. When he played on it, closing and opening some of these holes, soft and melodious sounds were produced. He played the instrument before royalty and every one yvas impressed. The instrument so different, from the pungi had to be given a new name. As the story goes, since it was first played in the Shah’s chambers and was played by a nai (barber), the instrument was named the ‘shehnai’.
- Name the lesson and author.
- Why did emperor Aurangzeb bap the playing of pungi?
- Who decided to improve it?
- What did he do to bring pungi back?
- How did shehnai get its name?
- Which word in the passage means the following, ruler.
- The name of lesson is The Shehnai of Bismillah Khan and it is adapted.
- Emperor Aurangzeb banned the playing of pungi because of its shrill unpleasant sound.
- A barber decided to improve it.
- He improved its quality of sound.
- Since the new instrument was played in the shah’s chambers and was played by a nai, it was named the ‘Shehnai’.
- The sound of shehnai began to be considered auspieious. And for this reason it is still played in temples and is an indispensable component of any North Indian wedding. In the past, the shehnai was part of the naubat or traditional ensemble of nine instruments found at royal courts. Till recently it was used only in temples and weddings. The credit for bringing this instrument on to the classical stage goes to Ustad Bismillah Khan.
As a five-year old boy, Bismillah Khan played gilli-danda near a-pond in the ancient estate of Dumraon in Bihar. He would regularly go to the nearby Bihariji temple to sing the Bhojpuri ‘Chaita’, at the end of which he would earn a big laddu weighing 1.25 kg. a prize given by the local Maharaja. This happened 80 years ago, and the little boy has travelled far to earn the highest civilian award in India – the Bharat Ratna.
Born on 21 March 1916, Bismillah belongs to a well-known family of musicians from Bihar. His grandfather, Rasool Bux Khan, was the shehnai-nawaz of the Bhojpur king’s court. His father, Paigambar Bux, and other paternal ancestors were also shehnai players.
- For what reason is it played in temples and weddings?
- Who was the credit man and for what?
- How did Bismillah earn a big laddu?
- When and where was Bismillah bom?
- Which word in the passage mean ‘group’.
- Shehnai is played in the temples on the occasion of wedding in North India because the sound of shehnai is considered auspicious.
- Bismillah was the credit man, who brought shehnai to the classical stage.
- He would regularly go to the near by Bihariji temple to sing the Bhojpuri ‘Chaita’, at the end of which he would earn a big Laddu weighing 1.25 kg. a prize given by the local Maharaja.
- Bismillah Khan was bom on 21 March 1916, in a well known family of musicians from Bihar.
- The young boy took to music early in life. At the age of three when his mother took him to his maternal uncle’s house in Benaras (now Varanasi), Bismillah was fascinated watching his uncles practise the shehnai. Soon Bismillah started accompanying his uncle, Ali Bux, to the Vishnu temple of Benaras where Bux was employed to play the shehnai. Ali Bux would play the shehnai and Bismillah would sit captivated for hours. Slowly, he started getting lesson in playing the instrument and would sit practising throughout the day. For years to come the temple of Balaji and Mangala Maiya and the banks of the Ganga became the young apprentice’s favourite haunts, where he could practise in solitude. The flowing waters of the Ganga inspired him to improvise and invent ragas that were earlier considered to be beyond the range of the shehnai.
- Who was Bismillah’s first Gum in Shehnai Vadan?
- Where did he practice Shehnai?
- What did he invent?
- What was his motivating force?
- Which word in the passage means, a person who is learning a trade?
- Bismillah’s maternal uncle Ali Bux was his first Guru.
- He practised in the temple of Balaji, Mangala Maiya and on the bank of the Ganga.
- He invented ragas that were earlier considered to be beyond the range of Shehnai.
- The flowing water of the Ganga was his motivating force.
- At the age of 14, Bismillah accompanied his uncle to the Allahabad Music Conference. At the end of hlTTccital, Ustad Faiyaz Khan patted the young boy’s back and said, “Work hard and you shall make it.” With the opening of the All India Radio in Lucknow in 1938 came Bismillah’s big break. He sdoh became an often heard shehnai player on the radio. When India gained independence on 15 August 1947, Bismillah Khan became the first Indian to greet the nation with his shehnai. He poured his heart out into Ragg Kafi from the Red Fort to an audience which included Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who later gave his famous Tryst with Destiny’ speech.
- Who patted the back of young Bismillah and what did he say?
- When did he get big break?
- On what occasion did he pour his heart?
- Among the audiance, who was a big personality there?
- Ustad Faiyaz Khan patted the back of Bismillah and he said, “work hard and you shall make it”.
- Bismillah got a big break in 1938 when. AH India Radio was opened at Lucknow. He became an often heard Shehnai player, on the radio.
- It was the occasion qf 15th August 1947 Bismillah Khan was the first Indian to greet the nation with his Shehnai from the Red fort. He had played Ragg Kafi in which he poured his heart.
- Among audience a big personality was Pandit Jawahar Lai Nehru.
- Bismillah Khan has given many memorable performances both in India and abroad. His first trip abroad was to Afganistan where King Zahir Shah was so taken in by the maestro that he gifted him priceless Persian carpets and other souvenirs. The King of Afganistan was not the only one to be fascinated with Bismillah’s music. Film director Vijay Bhatt was so impressed after hearing Bishmillah 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 composition, “Dil ka khilona hai toot gaya turned out to be nationwide chartbuster! Despite this huge success in the celluloid world, Bismillah Khan’s success in film music was 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.
- Where was his first trip?
- Who gave him priceless gift and what was that?
- Which two film^did he work in and with what result?
- Why did he not continue working in the films?
- What does ‘come to term’ imply?
- Which quality of his character and ideology is revealed in the above passage?
- Which words in the passage mean the following (a) of film (b) risk in under taking.
- His first trip was to Afganistan.
- The king Zahir Shah gave him priceless gifts those were Persian carpets.
- He worked in ‘Gung UthiShehnai’ and ‘Sanadhi Apanna’. He was quite successful.
- He did not like the glamour and the artificial atmosphere ‘ over there.
- It means that he could not agree to or feel at home with the film industry.
- He does not give preference to money. Music is more important to him. He is true artist who knows that art can not be developed in artificial atmosphere.
- (a) celluloid (b) venture.
- Awards and recognition came thick and fast. Bismillah Khan became the first Indian to be invited to perform at the prestigious Lincoln Centre Hall in the United States of America. He also took part in the World Exposition in Montreal, in the Cannes Art Festival and in the Osaka Trade Fair. So well known did he become internationally that an auditorium in Teheran was named after him — Tahar Mosiquee Ustad Bismillah Khan. National awards like the Padmashri, the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibushan were conferred on him. In 2001, Ustad Bismillah Khan was awarded India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna. With the coveted award resting on his chest and his eyes glinting with’rare happiness, he said, “All I would like to say is : Teach your children music, this is Hindustan’s richest tradition; even the West is now coming to leam our music.”
- What does ‘thick and fast’ imply in the first sentence?
- Mention two places in foreign countries that he visited?
- How can you say that people of Tehran has a great regard for him?
- Name the National Awards that he got.
- What did he say when he got ‘Bharat Ratna’?
- Which word in the passage mean ‘a place where audience assemble’.
- It means that big awards and great recognition came in quick succession one after the. other.
- They are Montreal in the Cannes and Osaka.
- They have named an Auditorium in Tehran after his name.
- He got the following National awards The Padmashri, The Padma Bhushan, the Padma Vibhushan qnd the Bharat Ratna.
- He said, All I would like to say is : Teach your children music, this is Hindustan’s richest tradition even the West is now coming to leam our music.
- 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 once 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 think of only Benaras and the holy Ganga. And while in Benaras, I miss the unique mattha of Dumraon. Shekhar Gupta: When partition happened, didn’t you and your family think of moving to Pakistan?
Bismillah Khan: God forbid! Me, leave Benaras? Never! I went to Pakistan once I crossed the border just to say I have been to Pakistan. I was there for about an hour. I said nature to the Pakistanis and salaam Walaikum to the Indians! I had a good laugh.
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.
- What did one of his students offer him, once?
- How did he think he could bring in the atmosphere of Benaras in the U.S.A.
- What could the student not able to bring in the U.S.A. to create the same atmosphere?
- Which two towns in India are Ustad’s favourite? Why?
- Bismillah Khan is an example of a glorious tradition oi India, what is that tradition?
- Which words in the passage mean the following.
- (a) exact copying
- (b) make again
- One of his students offered him to become the head of a Shehnai- school in the U.S.A.
- He thought he could bring in the same atmosphere by building in the U.S.A. the exact copies of temples of Benaras.
- The student could not bring the Ganga there.
- The favourite towns in India are-Benaras and Dunraon. Benaras is the town where he practised and invented many ragas because an expert and earned the name of ‘ Shehnai maestro. His memories and associations to these towns made them his favourite.
- Ustad Bismillah Khan’s life is a perfect example of the rich cultural heritage of India which accepts a devout Muslim like him naturally playing every morning in the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
- (a) Photo state
- (b) Repeat.
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