Bismillah Khan was remembered countrywide on his third death anniversary.

It is now three years since the magic of Ustad Bismillah Khan’s shehnai fell silent forever. On the third death anniversary of the maestro, it was time for memories, a noble cause and splendid musical performances as a fitting tribute to the le gend at New Delhi’s FICCI auditorium the other day. The incessant rain that evening failed to dampen the event. Rather, it was pointed out that the rain gods could not help weeping in his memory.

Politician Alka Lamba recalled her last and only moments with the ustad, at a time when he was very unwell. He had asked her to make some halwa for him, with her own hands, and she felt thrilled to oblige. “My hands and feet were shaking. I only hoped then that he lived to taste my halwa — he was that ill. My servant offered to help me but I refused, for I only wanted my mother’s guidance on it as she cooked the tastiest halwa. Ustadji had it, and I had realised my dream.”

His son Ustad Nayyar Husain impressed the crowd with his shehnai performance. Celebrated Hindustani vocalist Girija Devi also gave a performance, a worthy homage to the legend, who passed away on August 21, 2006 at the age of 90.

Sports Minister M.S. Gill and Law Minister Veerappa Moily, present at the event, also touched on social causes in their address .