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Malkajan of Agra
GharanaThumri - LucknowMalkajan of Agra
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Malkajan of Agra was a coutesan singer with an appealing voice, little is known about her except that she hailed from Azamgarh in UP and learnt music from the great ustads of Agra. She is said to have joined the court of the exiled Awadh Nawab Wajid Ali Shah at Calcutta. Later, she was patronised by the Calcutta music lovers like Seth Dulichand and Shamlal Khatri. As the story goes, Ustad Faiyaz Khan who was much younger to her was in love with her. She developed a new style of thumri singing with a full-throated voice. Proficient and accomplished in different musical formats, from dhrupad khayal to thumri, she was equally adept at hori, chaiti, kajri and ghazal singing. In the early era of Gramophone records in India (i.e. 1905 to 1925), she recorded over 100 songs and at the end of each record she announced: "My name is Malka Jan." Admired by her contemporaries both for her singing and colourful personality, she was acknowledged as the reigning queen of mehfils in her time.
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