I just heard that Asad Amanat Ali Khan died of a heart attack, in London. The news leaves me sad. Death of such talent at such a young age is always tragic. Just as it was when his father (Ustad Amanat Ali Khan) died, also relatively young and also abundantly talented.
For me – as for so many others – this scion of this Patiala gharana of classical singing was always his father’s son.
Asad Amanat Ali Khan was himself immensely talented, thought probably not as innovative in delivery as his father, but in many ways he was never able to come out of his father’s shadows. This was neither his fault nor his father’s. If anything, it was the fault of fans like myself who coudl never get themselves to listen to him without thinking of Ustad Amanat Ali Khan. But let it also be said that this was a compliment not only to Ustad Amanat Ali Khan but also to Asad Amanat Ali. He did his father proud. He made his the Patiala gharana proud.
In his memory let me share three memorable songs – the first two by Asad Amanat Ali Khan and the third by his father; all three are part of the legacy of both men. They also demonstrate how the memory of each can be so poignantly evoked by listening to the other.
First, Piyar nahin hai surr se jiss ko, woh morakh insaan nahin, by Ustad Asad Amanat Ali Khan.
Next, Kal chaudhvien ki raat thi, shab bhar raha charcha taira, also by Ustan Asad Amanat Ali Khan.
Finally, Insha Ji Utho, abb kooch karo, iss shehr mein dil ko lagana kiya by Ustad Amanat Ali Khan.