Today is the 103rd birthday of the Ghazal-star, Begum Akhtar. She was Born on October 7, 1914, she was a legendary Indian singer of Ghazal, Dadra, and Thumri genres of Hindustani classical music. She continued on to win the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for vocal music and was also bestowed with the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Indian Government. She is rated as one of the masters and esteemed Ghazal singers in India and has thus been given the monicker, ‘of Mallika-e-Ghazal. Well, on the incident of this auspicious day, Google has put her as the doodle of the date.


Her course in the world of music started in a salon in Lucknow as a young teenager – put up by her mom Mushtari bai, also a tawaif and soon within a small spread of interval, she became an expert to reckon with. She became so famous for her musical valor that only the famous were authorized entry to her mehfils. At a tender age, she worked with many creative career possibilities right from performing in theatre in the 1920s in Kolkata, (mostly as a negative role) to have a short consignment in films as a songstress and an actor.

She, later on, went in for a religiously accepted life, when she tied the knot with barrister Ishtiaq Ahmed Abbasi, following which she went on to become the Mallika-e-Ghazal we all remember her as, now.


She has gone through a lot of grief and strife in the initial years of her career, many concluded that the famous Ghazal singer got so addicted to it that she would usually feel unsettled without downs in the succeeding portion of her career.

That is what conceivably also describes why she always preferred poetry-through-ghazal as her picked form of musical expression. She was the pathfinder of this style and paved the way for many eminent artists to follow such as Jigar Moradabadi, Kaifi Azmi, and Shakeel Badayuni. On this day, we admittedly miss her pleasing voice but find solace in the certainty that she remains alive in the wonderful works that she left back.