Raja of Ras
India Today|January 31, 2022
The Kathak stalwart’s impact and outreach have been and shall remain universal
Ashish Mohan Khokar
Brij Mohan Nath Mishra, or Birju Maharaj as he was popularly known, was a genius artiste, a complete artiste. Such artistes come once in many centuries. He could sing, dance, compose, create, choreograph, play various instruments and speak on art. He wrote definitive books too on Kathak hastas and thumris. Add to this films, or even the ramp walk of fashion—his oeuvre is vast.

Born on February 4, 1938, to Pt Achchan Maharaj, the court dance talent of Rampur’s nawab, Brij Mohan soon won many hearts and when his father passed away in 1947, he stepped into his shoes to take charge of his gharana. His uncles, Lachchu and Shambhu Maharaj, had already established themselves in Bombay and Lucknow, so for a young lad to prove himself and teach at Sangeet Bharati was a challenge that he rose to remarkably. At 14, he had arrived.

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