June 2010

Uma Devi (Tun Tun)

By |June 6th, 2010|

Tun Tun. The name conjures up the image of a roly-poly, funny woman. She was christened thus by none other than Dilip Kumar. She was working with the thespian in her first film Babul which had Nargis in the romantic lead. And the impact […]

May 2010

Roshan Ara Begum

By |May 11th, 2010|

Twenty years ago on December 6, 1982, Pakistani classical music in particular and that of the subcontinent in general, was impoverished by the death of vocalist Roshan Ara Begum, who was known as Malika-i-Mauseeqi — the queen of music. Although she hailed from Calcutta, […]

November 2009

Sudha Malhotra

By |November 21st, 2009|

Sudha Malhotra was born in New Delhi in 1936, and she was discovered as a child artiste by Master Ghulam Haider (a prominent music director of the 1940s, known for combining popular ragas with Punjabi rhythm in his songs). Her first break as a […]

Zohra Bai Ambala Wali (1918-90)

By |November 8th, 2009|

A noted classical singer, Zohra bai Ambale wali belonged to the first generation playback singers of Hindi cinema. Born into an orthodox Muslim family, Zohrabai’s introduction to music was through the gramophone records playing in her home in Ambala (now in the Punjab).

Recognizing her […]

Surinder Kaur

By |November 8th, 2009|

I don’t remember exactly when the first time, I heard that sweet, refined and rustic voice of Surinder Kaur. I feel it is the same with every one of my generation since her voice echoes in the airs of the land of five rivers […]

Suraiya (1929-2004)

By |November 8th, 2009|

The last of Hindi cinema’s illustrious singer-actresses, Suraiya set a tradition that remains unrivalled and that largely ended with her reign at the top. Her acting style was a charming blend of dialogues and gestures, and was strongly reminiscent of the Muslim feudal era.

Born […]

Sandhya Mukherjee

By |November 8th, 2009|

Sandhya started her musical training under the direction of Pandit Santosh Kumar Basu, Professor A Kannan and Professor Chinmay Lahiri. However, her guru was Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan under whom she mastered Indian classical music.

Though classically trained, the bulk of her work consists […]


By |November 8th, 2009|

A popular playback singer, Mukesh was born Mukesh Chand Mathur. He was initiated into films as an actor by his cousin Motilal. Mukesh’s first song was a ghazal, ‘Dil bujha to phasl-e-bahaar kya’ composed by Ashok Ghosh for the film Nirdosh where he co-starred […]

Manna Dey

By |November 8th, 2009|

From classical numbers and qawwalis to romantic duets and fast-paced songs, singer Manna Dey has employed his deep voice to create a range of memorable melodies. He was born as Prabodh Chandra Dey in Calcutta; the name “Manna” was given to him by his […]

Mahendra Kapoor

By |November 8th, 2009|

He mesmerised music lovers with his melodious voice, always lived up to the opportunities that came his way and won two of his three Filmfare awards before the advent of Kishore Kumar but in the presence of Mohammad Rafi. On September 27, death took […]