At the end of the nineteenth century and early in the previous century, when the means of communication was underdeveloped, Gauhar Jaan’s fame reached Darbhanga from Banaras, Darbhanga to Calcutta, Calcutta to Mysore, Pune. This vocals of Hindustani music were found in every gathering of Thumri, Khyal, Tappa. The stories of Gauhar’s singing are as much as they are.
Music expert Gajendra Narayan Singh has written about Gauhar Jaan, who has become a legend, “The peak of wealth and fame reached the peak in his time, it was a dream for other singers.” That round of Nawabs, Maharajas and nobles It was of the gathering, where Hindustani music art developed through Tawaifs. His created Thumri ‘Kaisi Yeh Dhoom Machai Kanhaiya Ri’ is still heard.
Born in Azamgarh in the year 1873, Elene Angelina Yaward was the daughter of Armenian Robert William Yovard and Indian -origin Victoria Hemeings, who later called Gauhar Jaan (Malaka Jaan’s daughter). 150 years after birth, seeing his interesting personality and stories of singing in Delhi’s Kamani Auditorium was again like returning to the pages of music history, which is not discussed today. When the Goki talk has contributed to the struggle and music of women, then it is equally relevant today. How a woman was ruling the hearts and was very successful financially in the male dominated feudal society. In the story of Gauhar, both the tragedy and Jagabiti of the Tawaifs are guilty with each other.
The way the auditorium was full, it can be said that if there is innovation in content and presentation, there is no shortage of audience for plays. Recently, I also did this notice during the staging time of Atul Kumar’s famous drama ‘Piya Bahlopia’. However, it was staged by the famous theatrical organization ‘Primatime Theater Company’. The direction was of Lillit Dubey and the story is based on Vikram Sampat’s book ‘My Name is Gauhar Jaan’, which was a drama conversion by Mahesh Dattani.
In the last decade, a lot of recording of Gauhar Jaan has been available on YouTube, which can be gauged by his singing. At the end of the recording, she did not forget to say-‘May name is Gauhar Jaan.’ At that time there was a fear of the theft of the work. At that time, there was a fear of new technology among singers and singers that they should not affect their singing or voice. At that time, Gauhar Jaan recorded songs for Gramophone Company. In the year 1902, he took the initiative of recording and recorded about six hundred songs.
Actress Girija Oak Godbole was in the role of Gauhar on stage. Dannil Smith was very effective in the role of father and Gramophone Company Gisberg.
Girija was also seen in the drama ‘Jugnu’ of the Metropolis last year. Since the place of song and music is prominent in this drama, Girija leaves an impact from her singing. However, it was felt that it would have been better if some songs were performed even more. Nina Kulkarni was in the role of Malka Jaan. Malka herself was a famous Thumri singer and she had a lot of reputation in the court of Wajid Ali Shah. Gauhar had inherited music. Gauhar had the ability to sing in many languages simultaneously.
There are many kinds of misconceptions about Tawaifs even today. He is considered a prostitute, while it is not so. The styles of smooth music expanded on the brothels of Tawaifs. This drama breaks many misconceptions through the life of Gauhar Jaan. Despite being a successful singer, Gauhar Jaan did not get even after finding a spouse. The love affair remained ‘Dukhnt’. Through Gauhar, this play is also a comment on the society of that era. Akbar Allahabad wrote for Gauhar keeping this in mind:
‘Who is Akbar today, except Gauhar in the world
God has given everything except a husband. ‘
In feudal society, the appreciation of art was found, but for a lover who could become a life partner for a tawaif. There was nothing except exploitation for these women in relations. Such episodes of Gauhar’s life were brought to the stage efficiently. The director and the playwright have also created scenes with their imagination. This is especially notable in the context of the love affair of Raees Chhagan and Gauhar of Banaras. Darbhanga Raj’s court singer was from where her music journey (1887) began and was the singer of Mysore Palace at the last minute. He died in Mysore in the year 1930.
The houses are very important in Hindustani classical music. But as Sampat has written, Gauhar and other women musicians felt that music cannot be kept in these tight attitudes, a land and styles. A style of itself can be developed by mutual union and interaction of styles. Gauhar’s music journey is an example of this. He also got success on these paths and made ahead for musicians with his struggle.