Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan (1927-2017)
Sitar maestro Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan, who passed away at his Bandra (Mumbai) residence on 4 January 2017, was in the league of such great names in the field as Ravi Shankar, Vilayat Khan and Nikhil Banerjee. He effortlessly straddled the worlds of Hindustani classical music and Hindi cinema, and established ‘Jafferkhani baaj’—a unique style of playing the instrument. He was highly decorated, receiving such awards as the Tantri Vilas, Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Tagore Samman and the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
How did Halim Jaffer Khan achieve such eminence at a time when the legendary sitar triumvirate were at their peak? This question haunted me, and I put it to him when, during his last Kolkata visit in 2004, I met him at the residence of his prime disciple Harashankar Bhattacharya, whom he fondly addressed as his ‘bada beta’ (elder son). He took the question very sportingly and answered, “Riyaaz ki roshni ne raah kar di” (Devoted practice illuminated my path) and my disciples are now following it. In 1976, I founded the Halim Academy of Sitar in Mumbai. Zunain, my son-disciple and a few dedicated disciples like Prasad Joglekar and Gargi Shinde have come forward to take care of the Academy; and Harashankar founded Madhyami here in Kolkata to promote and propagate Jafferkhani baaj. His boy Deepshankar is showing great promise of keeping the flag flying high.”
Click here to read more ...