Author Vikram Sampath confesses to being besotted with Gauhar Jaan, a high-brow Hindustani classical singer and courtesan who spent her last years at the Mysore Palace. There are however, no reasons to her death, only piles of hospital bills, a death certificate and miscellaneous memories, capsuled in time at the Palace’s archives.
The inimitable Gauhar Jaan; (inset) her records She was born in 1873, in Azamgarh as Angelina Yeoward to an Armenian Christian couple. Her father, William was an engineer and her mother Victoria a musician. The marriage ended as a result of varied interests and Victoria moved to Banaras with her daughter in tow. There she converted to Islam and changed her name to Malka Jaan and Angelina’s to Gauhar Jan.
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