Down Memory Lane…
– By Ustad Vajahat Hussain Khan
Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan “DILRANG” was not merely a legend but also a phenomenon. Music was his divine bliss, as if he resided in Music. He was amongst the last of the era of Khandani musicians belonging to the near extinct world of Guru-Shishya Parampara. A man of principles disciplined with a highly impressive and princely personality. Full of etiquette with self respect and endowed with an indomitable and extraordinary creative genius. A totalitarian, his simple nature and straightforwardness, stunned those who came into close contact with him. His love for and devotion to classical music was such that one could safely proclaim from rooftops that, “He was a man born for music, lived for music and died for music. He was against cheap publicity as he loathed, detested and shunned publicity. He lived in an unrecognized world of recognized and uninhibitedly admiring lovers of music. He was a “gem of purest ray serene” which happily vegetates in the dark unfathomed caves of sincere dedication and unalloyed devotion to music, blissfully unmindful of the honors like Padmabhushan, Padmavibhushan, etc. that should have come his way long, long ago but did not.
Vidyadaan had been his mission of life and to that sacred mission, he gifted away his talent genius and knowledge ungrudgingly and unsparingly.
He was a very kindhearted person. Always helpful and generous with his close relatives, students fans and friends throughout his life Khansaheb did not take any revenge or retaliate with those who harmed and tortured him or were extremely jealous with his career. He was the victim of the circumstances right from the beginning of his career but his will power and confidence was so strong and bold that he surpassed all the hindrances and problems in the manner of a warrior. Here are some important memories and memorable anecdotes (incidents) which give a deep and clear picture of Khansahab’s life as a man and musician.
Smt. Vidushi Kishori Amonkar had an ardent admiration for Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan. Her mother, Mogubai was Khansaheb’s great admirer and had known him for a long time as his close neighbor in Mumbai South, where Allahdiya Khansahab also stayed for a quite a long time with his nephew Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan. Kishori Amonkar had a strong wish to learn music from Azmat Khansahab. She used to express her willingness each time she met him and did a charan sparch. She also did pay a tribute by participating in the State Felicitation Function in honor of Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan in 1974. This was a great two days festival and almost the whole music fraternity was present to felicitate the great Ustad. Nawab Ali Yavar Jung the governor of Maharashtra then presided over the function along with Shri C.P. Godsay (Charity Commissioner), Shri H. Nanjundiah (Chief Secretary) and many other VIP’s and Ministers. After this function Nawab Ali Yawar Jung assured all the coveted National Awards and financial support to Ustad Azmat Hussain Khansaheb.
Shri P.L. Deshpande, the great Marathi Thespian was amongst the top fans of Ustad Azmat Hussain’s novel and intricate singing style. In fact, he hardly missed his performances just like Mr. Mohan Nadkarni (Journalist & Critic) Pandit Batuk Diwanji (Musicologist & Critic), Mr. Madan Lal Vyas (Journalist), Shri T.M.M. Rao and Pandit G. G. Joshi. Famous Musician & Journalist Pandit Batuk Diwanji was a staunch fan and follower of Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan’s Gayaki unlike many of his contemporaries and own relatives who merely followed and copied the robust gayaki of Ustad Fayyaz Khansahab, as a failing effort, Azmat Khansahab created his own individual experimental singing style which was unique, inimitable and immortal. Dr. P.L. Deshpande used to call him “Tankaptan” for the beauty, variety, spontaneity and intricacy of his Taans. Azmat Hussain’s Taans had more aad-kuaad cross rhythmic pattern, complexity and uncanny fast tayyari (speed) like a spider web woven with silken thread. Ustad Azmat Hussain’s Shudh aakar taans were an essential trade mark of Khurja, Atrauli (Jaipur) and Agra Gharanas. Khansahab was very proud of his lineage, his Khandaan of Atrauli (Jaipur), Khurja and Agra Gharana, so much so that he became the star performer in each of his concerts. In the period of his peak performance nobody dared to sing after him and he became unparalleled. It’s an accepted fact that Azmat Khansahab was literally hero worshipped for nearly 30 continuous years indeed shows what a great musician he was.
Ustad Azmat Hussain was the only male child in family of 50 members. There was music in the house all around him; his ears were thus constantly tuned to beautiful music. He naturally grew up in a highly musical atmosphere and environment. Even at a tender age, it was quite obvious that he would become a great musician, for he had a very tuneful voice and uncanny sense of Surreal Taan. He never criticized any musician or gharana maliciously and he always had a good word for almost every musician. Like all time great Ustad’s, Azmat Hussain Khansahab used to meet and listen to numerous Musicians of almost every Gharana and had therefore heard and talked to all of them and his musicianship was deeply acknowledged. Very few people are aware that the first wife of Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan was the sister of Shafi Ahmed Khan (Daras Piya Atrauli Gharana). Shafi Ahmed Khan, was mentored and taught music by Ustad Azmat Hussain for several years as he stayed in Mumbai with his brother-in-law, Ustad Azmat Hussain. Due to serious sickness, the first wife of Azmat Hussain died early after giving birth to two daughters. The second wife of Azmat Hussain Khan was the real sister of Khadim Hussain, Latafat and Anwar Hussain (Daras Piya Atrauli Gharana). This fact was always hidden by Khadim Hussain and Latafat Hussain. Anwar Hussain was a close friend of Azmat Khansahab, and on his request only Azmat Hussain got married to his sister Chhoti Aapa. She also passed away early due to ill health after giving birth to an only daughter. It’s a known fact that Chhoti Aapa did not allow her brothers to attend her funeral as they always troubled her husband (Azmat Hussain). The third wife of Ustad Azmat Hussain was the sister of Ustad Aslam Khansahab of the famous Hapur Gharana. Out of this marriage, Azmat Khansahab got four sons and two daughters. Khansahab was reluctant to get married thrice but was forced by his elder sister.
His contemporaries, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Amanat Ali Khan, Amir Khan and Nissar Hussain Khan always praised him and had a deep respect for his great knowledge and exclusive singing ability. Azmat Hussain Khansahab performed many programs after Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and Amir Khan & Vice-Versa. These stalwarts also respect each other immensely.
At 9, Ruby Mansion, Gowalia Tank “The Gowaiya Mansion” (as per Pandit Ravi Shankar) Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan was a father figure. In 1930’s his elder sister Mrs. Aisha Vilayat Hussain Khan, insisted him to come and stay with her as the flat was empty and very spacious too. Azmat Hussain had stayed in almost three flats before he got shifted to the Ruby Mansion House. He agreed with his sister. But after some time Khadim Hussain and Latafat Hussain pursued Vilayat Khansahab to allow them to stay at Ruby Mansion and occupied two rooms in the flat. At that time it’s a history that this house was full of great musicians who stayed there or visited time to time. Great music stalwarts like Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan, Ustad Allahdiya Khan, Ustad Haji Altaf Hussain Khan and many others have stayed or and visited this house. Throughout the year many Big Saints, Sufi poets and other Artists kept on visiting the house and most them always were regularly hosted by Ustad Azmat Hussain Khansahab. His hospitality was amazing. He organized regular Mehfils, Mushairas and religious ceremonies. His Peer (Dharamguru), Syed Ashfaque Ali Shah Sahab Ashrafi Sabri, Poet Ustad Seemab Akbarabadi came and stayed to add to the glory of the Mehfils and Jalsas. Many big personalities of Film Industry and talented Musicians like Ustad Allah Rakha and Ustad Abdul Karim (Karim Baba) used to join these gatherings and memorable events hosted by Ustad Azmat Hussain Khansahab.
After Vilayat Hussain Khan & family got shifted to Delhi, Azmat Khansahab became the only guide and mentor to all the families who were staying at Gowalia Tank. This trend continued till he was alive. The beneficiaries included the names like Yunus Hussain Khan & brothers (nephews), Shafi Ahmed Khan, Aslam Hussain Khan, Gore Khan (All disciples), Wahid Hussain Khan, Mumtaz Ahmed (Maternal Brothers) Khadim Hussain, Latafat Hussain and mainly Anwar Hussain Khan.
He not only supported all the families economically but also did help them to get their legal and social hindrances (problems) solved. Later on Shamim Ahmed, Son-in-law of Khadim Hussain also got settled at Ruby Mansion. Anwar Hussain Khan (expired in early 60’s) was the closest to Azmat Hussain Khansahab out of three brothers. Azmat Khansahab fulfilled his promises and assurances by a total support to the family of Ustad Anwar Hussain, to get settled in Mumbai. This was a very difficult task as Khadim Hussain and his wife had finally booked tickets to send the family of Anwar Hussain to Atrauli, Azmat Khansahab stopped their migration as a true guardian.
There are few names of Khansahab’s disciples, outside family who were taught, mentored and groomed by him for several continuous years. They are Smt. Durgabai Shirodkar, Shri Namdeo Mistry Panchal, Shri T.L. Raju and Shamji Seth, just to mention a few. A devout and dedicated disciple Durgabai Shirodkar literally worshipped her Guru Azmat Khansahab. She was nowhere when she approached her Guru, who not only taught music but also mentored, nourished and helped her. She always said to her Guru “Tu Majha Devta Aahe, Mayi-Baap Aahe”. The same way Namdeo Panchal not only did get Music Vidya (Lessons) from Khansahab but also did stay with him as a child. He used to accompany him and get his blessings along with Aslam Khansahab who was a close associate and one of the main students of Azmat Hussain Khansahab. Namdeo was poor just like many other Students (Shishya) who were getting free taalim from Khansahab. Shri T.L. Raju, Shri Shafi Ahmed, Yunus Hussain, Aslam Khan, Yaqub Hussain were regular learners and always used to be there on Tanpura with Azmat Khansahab. In many concerts Ustad Wahid Hussain, Ustad Mumtaz Ahmed, Ustad Latafat Hussain also got an opportunity to accompany Ustad Azmat Hussain Khansahab on Tanpura. Pandit Kanebua of Ichalkaranji (Disciple of Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan Pranpiya) was an eye witness to the Music Career and life style of Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan Dilrang after he got settled in Mumbai, Maharashtra (1927).
Smt. Manik Verma and Shirgaonkar Sisters, Sunanda Apte and Hansa Wadkar also learnt music from Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan for quite a lot of time. Kunda Tai & Lilutai Shirgaonkar were great fans of Khansahab’s highly impressive and multifaceted Gayaki. Jitendra Abhishekhi started learning music from Khansahab in the very beginning period when Aslam Khan, Yunus Hussain, Namdeo Panchal, Shafi Ahmed, Durgabai Shirodkar and Gore Khan used to have very long taalim sessions. Jeetendra Abhishekhi left earlier and only came back in the year 1972. Abhishekhi apologized to Khansahab and asked to forgive him for not being attending the Taalim for several years. He wept before Khansahab saying “Khansahab main andha hoon, mujhe aankhen dijiye”. His lessons started at Lonavala where Khansahab not only taught him rare bandishes but also guided him for the systematic, traditional vocalism (gayaki).
In the beginning of 1930-40, Azizuddin Khan (cousin nephew) also used to visit Ruby Mansion along with Allahdiya Khansaheb (Paternal Uncle of Azmat Khansahab), Moinuddin Khan Son of Badruddin Khan (Manji Khan) used to come regularly to meet his Uncle Azmat Hussain Khansahab. He was very fond of Azmat Khansahab. Azmat Khansahab also supported and guided Moinuddin Khan in several matters. The family faith and love was always alive. Shri T.M.M. Rao was a very dedicated disciple of Azmat Khansahab, Shamji Seth as one of Khansahab’s disciples who literally worshiped him. A very rich person who was always at Azmat Khansahab’s feet. His Guruseva was at the highest peak. This disciple of Khansahab was like a court patronage. Ustad Ahmedjan Thirakwa and many other accompanists’ musicians used to join talim session of Shamji Seth. Ustad Azmat Hussain Khansahab a top artiste – teacher, a man of Principles and etiquette, did not take any disadvantage of his rich disciple (Shamji Seth), instead Khansahab guided him like a parent and patron.
Ustad Azmat Hussain was born in the village of Atrauli in 1911 and died of cardiac arrest in July 1975. Out of his 65 years, 55 years was spent on Music and very little else earning a livelihood and raising full family was incidental. Music was his life and except for the last six months before his death, when he was seriously ill bedridden, he would not have dreamt of spending a single day without singing or teaching music. He uttered these words to Nawab Sahab (Ali Yavar Jung) and few of his staunch fans in the hospital “Please take me home, I have to go for a Radio Program as the recording contract has come”. In reply Nawab Sahab Ali Yavar Jung assured and said “Khansahab don’t worry, sab accha hoga. Khush khabri yeh hai ke, do bade National Awards ke liye aapka naam select ho chuka hai aur aapko sarkar bada ghar bhi degi”. It was very unfortunate that within few months Khansahab expired, leaving behind a big family and number of fans and lovers.
Azmat Hussain was just eighteen years of age when his first 78RPM Record released. The first record he sang Drut Yaman Bandish of “Pranpiya” – “Mai Wari Wari Jaaoongi”. This record was a super hit and became so famous that Columbia Company continuously released his 14 records. One of them was released by Odeon Co. same period. The ragas sung in these records were Nand, Marwa, Todi, Puriya Dhanashri, Malkauns, Poorvi, Thumri “Panghat Vape Nandlal”; this became extremely famous so much that Music Director Naushad Ali copied the same Thumri in “Mughle Azam”. In the recent years the Bandish (Yaman) is also been used in Hindi Films (Top of the charts). Khansahab’s Paternal Uncle, Ustad Allahdiya Khan was in Mumbai since 1921. In 1930 he came and started staying with Azmat Khansahab at Gowalia Tank. This was a very fruitful period for Azmat Khansahab and he learnt a lot from Allahdiya Khansaheb during that period. Sometimes he used to go to Surveyor Building, Babulnath also where Allahdiya Khan shifted later, and regularly called young Azmat Hussain for Music Taalim. During that period Ustad Allahdiya Khansaheb was also teaching disciples like Kesarbai Kerkar, Mogubai Kurdikar, Shirgaonkar Sisters, Gullubhai Jasdanwala, and more importantly Manji Khan & Bhurji Khan (His sons), like Manji Khan and Bhurji Khan, Kesarbai Kerkar also were possessive and used to throw tantrums every time Allahdiya Khansahab taught Asthayees and Rare Ragas to his nephews Azmat Hussain. This development disturbed Ustad Allahdiya Khan and he openly announced and said to them all who took objection on sharing his knowledge with Azmat Khansahab, he said, “Ise nahi sikhaoonga to phir kise.. Joh tum mere liye ho wohi yeh hai” During that period, the young and handsome Azmat Hussain started getting offers for Acting in Films and Singing for Music Companies. This was the particular period when Allahdiya Khansaheb strictly restricted young Azmat Hussain from entering the film industry and reject the acting and singing offers. He took assurance from Azmat Hussain, saying… “Tu kya hamari barson ki izzat khak me milayega, bhaand banega”. Azmat Hussain was very obedient and kept his promise his whole life and career. Though it proved to be a great setback for his future career and musical endeavors.
Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan was born and brought up in a very systematic and culturally strict atmosphere. There are many stories about the sternness and the discipline which Haji Altaf Hussain Khan of Khurja Gharana (Maternal Uncle) rigorously enforced in the training of Azmat Hussain Khan.
In the era of many Contemporary Gharanas most of the traditional musician families were interconnected and had martial ties as well. Many Ustad’s of different famous gharanas used to teach and exchange (Aadan-Pradan) Bandishes (compositions) with each other. The Ustad’s even freely taught compositions and Ragas to their students and Musicians of other contemporary vocal and instrumental gharanas. Many noted instrumentalists got benefitted and learnt a lot of Raga Bandishes by just accompanying Ustad’s in their concerts. Vidyadaan has been the mission of life and to that sacred mission, Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan “Dilrang” like his ancestors and predecessors and fore fathers, gifted away his talent, genius and knowledge ungrudgingly and unsparingly. He himself had acquired this knowledge and treasure with lots of efforts and riyaz, and thus he had an unlimited collection of ornamental complex bandishes. As a teacher and mentor he had very few parallels. He used to trace the inner talent of his disciples and inspire them to expose their ability of performance. Kamla Jhangiani, a rich lady was a devout student of Azmat Khansahab. Under the guidance of Khansahab, she became a matured stage artiste. After the discipleship of few years she became a meek follower of Khansahab’s Gayaki. The way she was tutored was unique and Khansahab once told her, “Kamla tu mujhe paisa mat de sirf gaana seekh”, Unfortunately Kamla Jhangiani did not continue her lessons for a long time, as she kept herself busy in Kitty Parties and get together’s, Kamla Jhangiani had an extremely surreal voice and she followed her Guru’s gayaki so accurately that many listeners predicted her to be the next Kesarbai Kerkar. Khansahab always revealed two very important idioms or “Buzurgon ki Kahawate” one was “Dekkhiya -Sikkhiya-Parakkhiya” (Watch-learn and Practice) other one was “Uttam Gana, Maddham Bajana, Kanishth Nachna aur Bikat Batana”(Singing is supreme-second comes instruments-third is dancing and fourth is teaching all these is most difficult. Another important fact of Azmat Hussain Khan was his uncanny knack of composing beautiful cheezas (Bandishes) in different Ragas, his compositions in Ragas Ahir Bhairon (Own Ragas) Poorvi, Shree, Madhuvanti, and Malkauns and so on.
Just like Khurja, Agra and Delhi (Tanras Khan) Gharanas Atrauli has produced a large number of distinguished and outstanding musicians over the last 3 to 4 centuries and one cannot but conclude that there is some musical magic in the soil of Atrauli. Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan was one of the brightest stars out of them. It is true that a lot of Ustad’s from Agra Khandan & their disciples ruined their voices trying to imitate Fayyaz Khan’s voices but there were a quite a few who did not. Among them Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan, was an exception as he did belong to two more important gharanas and his novel gayaki was a unique amalgamation of three major gharanas of Khurja, Atrauli (Jaipur) and the Agra. Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan, as a top performer was an individualist. He did not copy Allahdiya Khansahab, Haji Ustad Altaf Hussain Khansahab, Shabboo Khansahab or Fayyaz Khansahab. He picked up the best out of them and by mixing went deep into his own tradition and found new things to say and a unique individual style of Gayaki (Singing). The element of tayyari (technical virtuosity of voice), emotional upliftment of the content which he introduced was remarkable and the control of Tala & Upaj ang (to finish improvisation) was of the highest order, Gayan Samrat Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan (1911-1975) was regarded as one of the greatest exponents of Khayal in the golden age of Hindustani Classical Music, his own gayaki and style was described and regarded by his contemporaries as being particularly rich, complex and innovative. It is no exaggeration to say that Azmat Hussain Khan, possessed the largest repertoire among all living Ustad’s in his era and he was one teacher who could impart to his students the maximum Raga forms. Khansahab’s voice had acquired a golden quality that Jawari intensity in his voice which came after long years at riyaz, talim and “Khuda ki Den” (Gift of the gab). Critics have noted how in his gayaki, there was a fusion of the Khurja, Atrauli (Jaipur) and Agra Gharanas with a great deal of original contribution that goes beyond mere synthesis.
“Aadan Pradan” (Give and Take or Exchange) of Bandishes (Compositions) was an old prominent trend of the Music Stalwarts of the different traditional Sangeet Gharanas. Due to this we find many Khurja Gharana, “Ramdas ji’s Bandishes sung by Agra & Atrauli (Jaipur) stalwarts. Many Atrauli (Jaipur) Bandishes and Delhi (Tanras Khan) Gharana Bandishes are sung and popularized by Agra Gharana Ustad’s and Vice-Versa. Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan “Dilrang”, Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan “Pranpiya”, Ustad Yunus Hussain Khan “Darpan” and Ustad Aslam Khan “Khushrang” had this good habit and they never refused to teach Ragas and Bandishes to other Ustad’s, young vocalists or the instrumentalists of other gharanas. These great musicians also sang compositions of other gharanas with full acknowledgement. Khadim Hussain and Latafat Hussain were an exception to this trend, though Anwar Hussain Khan was very generous in this matter. After Aslam Khan’s Guru Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan expired in 1975, he approached Khadim Hussain for teaching bandishes. It was very shocking that Ustad Khadim Hussain agreed to teach Aslam Hussain only after he became his gandabandh (discipleship) shagird. The same thing was revised when Shafi Ahmed Khan wished to learn bandishes from Latafat Hussain Khan at ITC SRA Calcutta. Shafi Ahmed was the brother-in-law of Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan who mentored him and taught music for several years without a Gandabandhan. Ustad Khadim Hussain as per his biography learnt several ragas and bandishes from “Dada” Allahdiya Khansahab without any Gandabandhan. By the end of the 20th Century the few legendary Ustad’s who exchanged their great music knowledge were Ustad Yunus Hussain Khan, Ustad Aslam Khan, Ustad Sharafat Hussain Khan, Ustad Wahid Hussain Khan and Ustad Shafi Ahmed Khan. No doubt these Ustad’s followed the great stalwarts like Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan, Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan and Ustad Allahdiya Khan.
Azmat Khansahab was very popular in his Khandaan, fans, followers and friends for his varied interests like Shikaar (Hunting), Wrestling and Culinary Art (Cook Food). He enjoyed and experienced all these as a young boy and grew up in the atmosphere, where along with rich music and rigorous riyaz, he went for long hunting trips in the rich company of his Uncle Haji Altaf Hussain Khan and his (Altaf Hussain’s disciple) Maharaja Kumar Shamanand Singh Ji of Champanagar & Baneli. In Delhi and Atrauli Aligarh he constantly visited Wrestling Akhadas. Cooking best food, this art came to him naturally in the company of his Uncle Altaf Hussain, household ladies and few other experts. He used to say this idiom (Kahawat) “Gawaiyya Khayega nahi toh Gayega kya?”. “Shikaar” (Hunting) was his favorite hobby he was fond of both hunting and fishing. He was a Champion on marksman too. His hobby became an inspiration for many young musicians of the Khandan. He was one and only of his kind and people loved to be in his company. He owned two sophisticated licensed guns and a big set of fishing accessories. After he finally migrated from Delhi to Mumbai in 1927 he became very busy professionally, as a concert artiste and could not devote time for his favorite past time. His love for Cooking, Mehmaan-Nawazi and Wrestling remained alive. Maximum of his income was spent in Mehmaan-Nawazi and helping the needy.
His son Vajahat Hussain, Brother-in-law Ustad Aslam Khan, wife Amina Begum, Nephews Ustad Yunus Hussain Khan and Yaqub Hussain Khan and Sister Aisha Begum were the eye witness to the progress and development of his Music Career and Personal life.
Music lovers of the country and his fans have marveled at his precision, clarity, sweet lyricism the sculptured beauty of his development of Raga, the contemplative elaborate quality of his Alap and the vigor and vitality of his ornamentations and above all they have admired the vibrancy of his wonderful voice.
Like a colossus he towered over the music scene of the country and such was his influence over the Atrauli (Jaipur) and Agra vocalists that the Gharana Gayaki itself became synonymous with his personal Gharana Gayaki. Khansahab belonged to a distinguished family whose members (were court Musicians for over fifteen generations. His accurate and authentic family tree is attached with this article. Some mischievous minded disciples few jealous and partial family members have indicated absolutely corrupted family tree of Ustad Azmat Hussain Khansahab. Allahdiya Khansaheb, the paternal uncle of Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan had personally quoted the authentic family chart during his stay at Mumbai’s Ruby Mansion House. An unnecessary controversy was created by some jealous family members and dirty minded disciples about the family tree of Atrauli (Jaipur) Gharana. Its accuracy and authenticity is already been confirmed and authorized by Ustad Mohiuddin Khan (Grandson of Ustad Allahdiya Khansaheb) from Tonk (Uniara, Rajasthan) who came to Mumbai in 1999 and met personally Ustad Vajahat Hussain Khan (2nd Son of Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan). Mohiuddin Khansahab and his wife became very emotional while meeting Vajahat Hussain, they had several meetings and during the talks many old memories were revealed. In fact, Mohiuddin Khansahab came to Mumbai for the treatment of his son who was seriously ill and had to be hospitalized in J.J. Hospital at that time. Mohiuddin Khansahab was very happy and obliged to Vajahat Hussain, as Vajahat Hussain also supported him monetarily. Unfortunately his son could not survive and expired. It was indeed very sad. At that time only during the meeting Mohiuddin Khansahab revealed many unknown facts. He was not very happy with other members of the Khandan at Kolhapur. Mohiuddin Khansahab handed over the true and accurate family tree of Atrauli (Jaipur) Gharana to his paternal brother Vajahat Hussain Khan and this family tree did exactly tallied with the one which Allahdiya Khansahab had personally dictated to Azmat Hussain Khansahab during his stay in Mumbai (1930-40). All the family members and relatives of the Gharana and the living musicians of the Khandan were well aware of these true facts but most of them kept mum out of jealousy. Enmity and separations amongst the musicians of the different Gharanas remains to be the main reason of the destruction and downfall of the traditional musician gharanas, difference of opinions, pride, hatred, ego, unwanted marital ties in the families were the main reason of distancing and separation among the Ustad’s and leading lights of the different Sangeet Gharanas.
Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan was the worst victim of these undue circumstances during that period. He tried to escape from the bitter situations but could not succeed due to deep family relations. First, two of his marriages were accidental and obligatory and it did harm his professional career as well. During the peak period of his career he had to get married thrice. He was reluctant but could not disagree with his elder sister Mrs. Aisha Vilayat Hussain Khan. Azmat Hussain’s mother Amrunissa Begum (Highly educated and expert in five languages) expired in his early childhood. He was mentored and brought up by his maternal uncle Ustad Haji Altaf Hussain Khan (Son of Ustad Zahur Bakhsh Khan “Ramdas”) of famous Khurja Gharana. Azmat Khansahab’s father Ustad Khairat Ali Khan was a Sufi natured ascetic person and an accomplished Sitar player as well. Azmat Khansahab came to Mumbai (Maharashtra) at a very young age in 1927. The only guardians and supporters were his sister Mrs. Aisha Vilayat Hussain Khan. Father Khairat Ali Khan shifted to Atrauli from Delhi and permanently got settled over there. His house was situated in the Chowdhary Mohallah of Qasbah, Atrauli. Azmat Hussain’s Atrauli Khandan used to stay in a separate location in Atrauli until the internal marital relations took place in the later years. The same thing happened between the three Atrauli Khandans (Gharanas) Agra Khandan and Delhi Tanras Khan Khandan in the beginning period of 20th Century. The marital ties between these Gharanas and other Big Gharanas or Khandans like Khurja, Hapur and Sikandara are also very evident and prominent as well. In the beginning of his music career, young Azmat Hussain was full of energy, verve and intensity. He had very passionate and career oriented personality. After coming to Mumbai, he became extremely busy with his music concerts and performances. At that period he became the most sought after vocalists.
The only guardian to young Azmat Hussain was his elder sister Mrs. Aisha Vilayat Hussain Khan. The close relatives around Azmat Khansahab took a great disadvantage and misused his sincerity, simplicity, honesty and good character. The only big quality and the goodness which always saved and supported Azmat Khansahab was his excellence and unique ability as a vocalist of extraordinary caliber. He strongly believed in the principle of “Forgive and Forget”.
Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan was like an encyclopedia of Classical Music. “I have so many Cheezas (Compositions)” he would say on many occasions. “Can I take them along with me to my grave? I am giving to the Nation what I got from it. It is my sacred duty. I learned from many great gurus and I will impart my knowledge to a good number of Shishyas (Students).” Despite of his ill health and ailments in the last few years, he did his best and spread his precious knowledge to all of his disciples. He served the Nation with his art till he breathed his last.