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Ustad Amjad Ali Khan

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan
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The renowned sarod maestro shares with us the special connection he has with his favourite hotel

Aarti Kapur Singh
March 22 , 2014
02 Min Read

OT: Favourite hotel?
Ustad Amjad Ali Khan: I think that would be the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower (www.tajhotels.com), Mumbai, which has become synonymous with Mumbai’s skyline, almost like the Gateway of India has. Besides, it’s practically on the sea. I can hear the music of the waves slapping against the shore when the tide comes in.

OT: Last visited?
Ustad Amjad Ali Khan: Soon after it reopened post the 26/11 attack.

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OT: The experience?
Ustad Amjad Ali Khan: It was definitely poignant. It was almost as though I was going across to check if everything was okay with my favourite Mumbai landmark. After the unfortunate incident on 26/11, I condoled with the general manager, Karambir Kang, who lost his family in the attack.

I always look forward to spending time in this hotel because it holds many memories for me. When I was young, I recall having a desire to stay at the Taj. I used to save money from my concert fee to pay the hotel bill. My friend, Sam Bhadha, who was working with the hotel at the time (today he owns several hotels in New York), used to very generously upgrade me to the best suites for a single-room charge.

The best part of the Taj is the history of the building itself. The place is a monument — a testament to times gone by. It is steeped in history, culture, elegance. You feel that old-world charm in its patio, its corridors and its magnificent lobby. And, of course, in its great restaurants, like the Golden Dragon and Wasabi. I especially like the way they have done up the rooms — traditional yet contemporary. When you stay at the Taj, you get an idea of the life and style of erstwhile royalty.

OT: The food?
Ustad Amjad Ali Khan: I am extremely fond of oriental cuisines and the chefs here get it just right — perhaps even better than the food you would get in China or Japan. The décor at Wasabi is extremely bold, which gives it a strong identity. I can identify Wasabi just by its aroma, even if I am blindfolded!

OT: Repeat visit?
Ustad Amjad Ali Khan: Absolutely, most certainly, yes! 


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