Saraswati Rane was married to Sunderrao Rane. Her father, Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, was the founder of the Kirana Gharana. She grew up in a home in Miraj, Maharashtra. Surrounded by musical maestros, she learnt a lot from her father and mother. Did you know that Saraswati Rane was born as Sakina? When Tarabai (Saraswati’s mother) got separated from her husband, she renamed all her children. Hence, Sakina became Saraswati Rane. Her full name was Saraswati Abdul Rane. It was her brother and sister, who encouraged her to learn music at a professional level. In order to improve and enhance her musical career, she learnt music from several ustads of different gharanas. Some of her ustads were Ustad Natthan Khan and Prof. B.R. Deodhar.
She was just eleven years old when she entered the musical field. She started with stage acting and at a very young age, she started playing important roles with known artists.
In the year 1933, she started to perform on Akashwani. Till the year 1990, she continued performing on All India Radio as a top artist. After 1990, she declared that she is retiring from public performances.
Did you know that she was one of the first singers to give her voice for Marathi and Hindi films? Payachi Dasi was the first film she sang for. ‘Beena Madhur Madhur Kachu Bol’ was her popular song from a Hindi movie. She also did playback for movies like Bhumika and Sargam. Her biggest achievement was that she was invited to perform on the first Independence Day eve of India at Delhi.
She sang many Marathi classical light songs and got recognition from the people of Maharashtra. Even today, people listen to her songs and they are mesmerized that they forget that they belong to the same world. Hirabai Barodekar was her sister and they both developed the concept of Jugalbandi vocal recital. Did you know that the jugalbandi became such a famous trend around the world? She was also called to perform on the first Maharashtra din.
If jugalbandi interests you, take out time and hear the beautiful song. It is soul-stirring.
On a day when you are feeling cold, this jugalbandi would bring peace to your heart.
In a nutshell, she was one of the most respected vocalists of that period. Music was in her blood and she is an inspiration for most of the vocalists, who entered the world of cinema and music at that time. It takes a lot of persistence to make it big in the field of music. She started at an early age and dedicated her entire life to music. She was 93 years old when she took her last breath. She died in Maharashtra, the place where she was born.
It is unfortunate that we lost her but she lived a long life. She achieved her dreams and she still remains in our heart. Her beautiful voice echoes in our minds and it calms the heart. We shall forever remember Saraswati Rane for her contribution to the music industry.
Written By: Anshu Choudhary