Google paid homage to the late Ustad Allah Rakha, one of India's greatest Tabla maestros, with a doodle on the occasion of his 95th birthday. Reverentially called Abbaji, the venerable percussionist is depicted playing two tablas, which form the two Os on the Google logo, with a beatific smile.
Ustad Alla Rakha was born as Allarakha Qureshi Khansaheb on April 29, 1919 in Phagwal, Jammu. At the age of 12 he left home to learn tabla and joined All India Radio, Lahore, in 1936.
In 1943, he entered the film industry in erstwhile Bombay, composing music under the name AR Qureshi.
The Ustad achieved renown as an accompanist, for soloists like Allauddin Khan, Vilayat Khan and most notably, Pandit Ravi Shankar. His partnership with Pandit Ravi Shankar reached legendary heights with performances at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and the Woodstock Festival in 1969. He also collaborated with jazz drummer Buddy Rich, on their 1968 album ''Rich à la Rakha.''
His sons, Fazal Qureshi, Taufiq Qureshi and most notably Zakir Hussain are well-respected tabla players.
Ustad Alla Rakha Khan was awarded the Padma Shri in 1977 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1982.
Ustad Alla Rakha died of a heart attack on 3 February 2000 at his Simla House residence on Nepean Sea Road, Mumbai.