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Home > News > PTI

Varanasi mourns Ustad's demise

August 21, 2006 19:01 IST
Last Updated: August 21, 2006 19:06 IST

People of the temple city of Varanasi, where Ustad Bismillah Khan lived all his life and breathed his last, often said that one could take the shehnai legend out of Varanasi but never Varanasi out of him.

And the scene at the Benia Bagh ground, where the body of the maestro was kept, reflected the people's emotion as weeping men, women and children of all religions and age came by to say their last goodbye to the shehnai wizard who embraced this city all his life and carried its tales and memories everywhere he went.

Khan would be buried in a graveyard in Fatman locality and the funeral namaz performed at Benia Bagh after which a procession would be taken out, his family said.

Khan transcended religion and lived by the joys and sorrows of the people of this temple town and was known to always yearn for home even during his foreign trips that took him across the seven seas.

He turned down many offers luring him overseas including one in which he was promised a replica of Banaras in America. He rejected it saying, "You will not be able to bring my Ganges here."

Earlier in the day, a string of prominent visitors, including Uttar Pradesh Governor T V Rajeshwar, Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, Public Works Department minister Shivpal Singh Yadav and Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Salman Khursheed paid their last respects to Khan.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made at the Benia Bagh ground and en route the funeral procession, police sources said.

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Sub: '' You will not be able to bring my Ganges here ''

" One could take the shehnai legend out of Varanasi but never Varanasi out of him".

Posted by Dr. Cajetan Coelho



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