Google doodle dedicates to 'Queen of Ghazals' Begum Akhtar

Google doodle dedicates to 'Queen of Ghazals' Begum Akhtar

Search engine giant Google celebrated the 103rd birth anniversary of Begum Akhtar by dedicating today's doodle to her. A well known singer of Ghazal, Dadra and Thumri genres of Hindustani classical music, Begum was born on October 7, 1914 in Bharat Kund in Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh. Her name was Akhtaribai Faizabadi though she was much popular as Begum Akhtar. She received Padma Shri in 1968 and Sangeet Nataak Akademi Award (1975). She is regarded as one of the most veteran and revered Ghazal singers in India and has thus been given the monicker, of Mallika-e-Ghazal. She was passed on 30th October in 1974 after the brief illness. On her uncle's insistence, she was sent to train under the Ustad Imdad Khan, the great sarangi exponent from Patna and later under Ata Mohammed Khan of Patiala.

She staged her first performance at the age of 15, and was praised by famous Sarojini Naidu for her singing talent. Which is your favourite song by Begum Akhtar, let us know in the comments section below!

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# In the 1930s, she also got the opportunity to act in films thanks to her unmissable beauty. She started accepting disciples after she settled in her home in Lucknow. Among the notable films she worked in include Mumtaz Beghum (1934), Jawaani Ka Nasha (1935), Raaj Haan's King for a Day (1933) and Satyajit Ray's Jalsaghar (1958).

# Begum Akhtar was one among the foremost female stage performers and her first music disc was released by the Megaphone Record Company. Art critic S. Kalidas has directed a documentary on Begum Akhtar titled Hai Akhtari. Even then the destiny took her to the world of music where she curved a niche for herself. That is what perhaps also explains why she always chose poetry-through-ghazal as her selected form of musical expression.