It is destiny for many to gain success in their career, but it requires hard work to achieve that mark, even a bit part of luck plays a small decisive role. Right from young age, Dhondu Tai’s father, found her remarkable voice and had encouraged her to take her singing seriously.

She was first featured on All India Radio at age 8. Remember it was the late 1930’s and it was not common for women to share a dais with men, leave the idea of singing solo. But with her father’s strong support and backing she could manage it.

With remarkable voice and whole hearted dedication she started her singing and was trained at Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana, of whose she was now the last living icon. Her Sangit-Guru was Res. Alladiya Khan Saab.

She was later had the honour to share audience with Ustad Azizzuddin Khan, who later abolished the blind practices of dominating women to sing, also eliminated the shallow minded thoughts of people.

Other important person in her life was Kesarbai Kerkar, of whom she was the lone student.

Later she was also presented the Sangeet Natak Akadami Puraskar from the Central Government  and she was regularly broadcasted on the DD National Channel.

Well known as Gaan Yogini (seeker of music) she would have had celebrated her 87th birthday on 23rd July this year, however god felt a need for a classic singer so sent for her quite before that.

She sang her last song at “Surashri Kesarbai Kerkar Sangeet Sammelan” an initiative started as a tribute to her mentor. And what a way to stop professional singing.

Now god’s palace would be blazing with her yet strong voice.

May her soul rest in peace.


–          Vibhav Galadagekar

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