Pandit Birju Maharaj At the age of 83, the great Kathak dancer passed away
Pandit Birju Maharaj, a well-known Kathak performer, died early on Monday morning after a heart attack. Known for his remarkable rhythmic choreography and commitment to performing arts, Pandit Birju Maharaj received India’s second-highest civilian honor, the Padma Vibhushan, which is India’s second-highest civilian honor.
In addition to being the recipient of India’s second-highest civilian honor, the Padma Vibhushan, he was affectionately known as Pandit-Ji or Maharaj-Ji by his pupils and legions of followers, and he was one of the country’s most well-known artists.
Birju Maharaj, according to sources, was playing with his grandsons late on Sunday night when his health deteriorated and he passed out. He was immediately admitted to a hospital and pronounced dead.
“He was with us at the time of the incident. While he was eating his dinner, we played ‘antakshari’ because he enjoyed traditional music. When his breathing became erratic and shaky while he was lying down, we knew something was wrong. We suspect that he died of cardiac arrest, given his history of heart disease.
“This happened between the hours of 12.15 and 12.30 a.m. Probably less than a few minutes. We rushed him to the hospital, but he died as a result of the problems with his treatment there. Birju Maharaj’s granddaughter Ragini Maharaj, a Kathak dancer, was quoted by the news agency PTI as stating, “He passed away before we could take him to the hospital.”
“He was accompanied by two of his followers as well as his two grandkids, my younger sister Yasyashashwini and myself when this happened. He was laughing and delighted in his final minutes, she said.
The Kathak performer had been suffering from a kidney condition and was undergoing dialysis therapy when he died.
Birju Maharaj was a Kathak dancer’s descendant, with two uncles, Shambhu Maharaj and Lachhu Maharaj, and his father and master, Acchan Maharaj. He was the son of Shambhu Maharaj and Lachhu Maharaj and the grandson of Acchan Maharaj.
According to his official website, the Kathak legend was also a fantastic drummer, capable of playing practically all drums with ease and precision; he had a particular fondness for the Tabla and the Naal, among other instruments.
Birju Maharaj was also a master vocalist, grasping the Thumri, Dadra, Bhajan, and Ghazal styles, among others.
He was a brilliant storyteller, and he intertwined situations from his life into his performances, which he narrated to capture the audience.
He was also highly perceptive, and he usually had something to say about mundane events, keeping those around him interested with realistic impersonations and vivid descriptions of what he was seeing.
Meanwhile, as news of his death spread around the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many more well-known figures from Bollywood and other industries joined the chorus of fans in paying tribute to the great musician.
Pandit Birju Maharaj Ji’s passing has pushed Indian dance to a new level of international acclaim, and our hearts are heavy at the news of his demise. This is an irreparable loss for the whole art community, which is still reeling from his death.
“Please accept my condolences on behalf of his family and fans at this time of sadness,” PM Modi tweeted.
President Ram Nath Kovind said that the passing of Pandit Birju Maharaj marked the end of an era, and he sent his condolences to the Maharaj family and his many followers.
“The passing of famous Pandit Birju Maharaj heralds the end of an era in Indian music. As a result, there is a significant role in Indian music and culture.
He rose to fame due to his unrivaled contribution to the popularisation of Kathak throughout the world. Please accept my condolences on behalf of his family and friends, “President Ram Nath Kovind sent out a tweet.
Nirmala Sitharaman, the Minister of Finance, referred to the artist as a “legend of the performing arts.”
His disciples and legions of followers were affectionately known as Pandit-Ji or Maharaj-Ji. He had stated that the younger generation has many more opportunities to learn than he did in his own time.
Other celebrities, including filmmaker Subhash Ghai, musician Adnan Sami, and others, paid tribute to the Kathak legend.
Following the passing of the iconic dancer, members of the film industry took to social media to pay tribute to him. A snapshot of Kamal Haasan with the legendary dancer was posted to his social media sites.
As a result of his training with Pandit Birju Maharaj, the actor performed the song Unnai Kaanadhu Naan from Vishwaroopam, which had also received a National Award.
Hema Malini, a veteran of Bollywood who is also a skilled classical dancer, shared the following tweet: “It is with great sadness that the nation mourns the demise of Shri Birju Maharaj, Kathak exponent par excellence.
His ghungroos remained on his ankles till he took his final breath. I have always revered and respected him as a giant of the Kathak medium, and his presence on the dance stage will be sorely missed.”
ஈடு இணையற்ற நடனக் கலைஞரான பண்டிட் பிர்ஜூ மகராஜ் மறைந்தார்.ஓர் ஏகலைவனைப் போல பல்லாண்டுகள் தொலைவிலிருந்து அவதானித்தும்,விஸ்வரூபம் படத்திற்காக அருகிருந்தும் நான் கற்றுக்கொண்டவை ஏராளம்.இசைக்கும் நாட்டியத்திற்கும் தன் ஆயுளை அர்ப்பணித்துக்கொண்டவரே, ‘உன்னை காணாது நான் இன்று நானில்லையே’ pic.twitter.com/WC9bTUkjE2— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) January 17, 2022
Early Life of Birju Maharaj:
“Pandit” Birju Maharaj (born Brijmohan Nath Mishra; 4 February 1937 – 17 January 2022), better known by his stage name Birju Maharaj, was an Indian Kathak performer and composer. He was also an exponent of the Lucknow Gharana of Kathak dance in India, known as the “Kalka-Bindadin” Gharana of Kathak dance.
The Maharaj dynasty of Kathak dancers, which includes his two uncles, Shambhu Maharaj and Lachhu Maharaj, and his father and instructor, Acchan Maharaj, is thought to represent his family lineage. He was also a singer and a performer of Hindustani classical music.
Eventually, he collaborated with his uncle, Shambhu Maharaj, at Bhartiya Kala Kendra, later becoming the Kathak Kendra in New Delhi. He served as the latter’s director for several years before retiring in 1998 and establishing his dance school, Kalashram, in the same city.
As a child, Maharaj was raised in the home of Kathak exponent Jagannath Maharaj, who served as a court dancer for the princely kingdom of Raigarh and was known as Acchan Maharaj of Lucknow Gharana. He was raised in the house of Jagannath Maharaj, popularly known as Acchan Maharaj of Lucknow Gharana.
In addition to his father, Birju received training from his uncles Lachhu Maharaj and Shambhu Maharaj, and he performed his first recital at the age of seven. His father passed away on 20 May 1947, when he was ten years old.
At the age of thirteen, Maharaj began teaching the dance form at the Sangeet Bharti in New Delhi, where he now resides. While in Delhi, he worked as the head of the faculty and director of the Kathak Kendra (a branch of the Sangeet Natak Akademi), before opening his own dance school, Kalashram, which he has operated since 1998 and is still running today. Shatranj Ke Khilari, in which he wrote and sang for two dance sequences, was his first feature film. He also choreographed the song Kaahe Ched Mohe from the 2002 film adaptation of the tale Devdas.
edited and proofread by nikita sharma