Amirbai Karnataki

Sometime back I had written about Goharbai Karnataki on this blog. I had translated Kannada article into Marathi and had published on portal. It was well received and appreciated. Taking cue from that, I had ventured into translating a biographical work on Amirbai Karnataki(sister of Goharbai), again by same author Prof Rahamat Tarikere. I am glad to let you know that it is being published by Mumbai’s well-known publisher Granthali this month.

Amirbai Karnataki and Goharbai Karnataki, also known as Bilagi Sisters, were famous singer-actresses in music theater and films in the decade of 1940. Amirbai was born in 1912 in small town of Bilagi in Bijapur district in Karnataka. The book traces her journey to Mumbai’s film world, and the name and fame she made there. Besides this, book also throws spotlight on the bygone era of music traditions in early Marathi and Kannada theater, unique cultural potpourri in the pre-Independence times when parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka together were referred as Bombay Presidency. Prof. Tarikere, through his meticulous research, has literally re-constructed that era piece by piece, utilizing various sources. The book also throws light on Goharbai and her controversial relation with Balgandharva. Some of this was talked about in the article about her which was published earlier as mentioned above.

Portrait of Amirbai

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Amirbai’s song. You can find many songs on the Internet, and cherish them.

In fact, in 2013, I had invited Prof Rahamat Tarikere for a lec-dem on Bilagi Sisters in Pune. This program was arranged under Maharashtra Cultural Center’s unique platform called Sudarshan Sangeet Sabha(coordinated by famous harmonium player and musicologist Chaitanya Kunte), where research based programs related to field of music are showcased. He went over life journey of Bilagi Sisters in this audio visual program and was well appreciated.


Anyways, stay tuned on the update on the book. I plan to share sleek preview of the book soon. I will be delighted to hear back from on you on this.