header pic header text

Biography, Autobiography, Journal and Anecdotes

Part I - Biography

Ali Khan

Ali Khan was a second cousin of Inayat. He was the grandson of Maula Bakhsh's sister, a relationship which in the East is considered almost as close as that of brothers.

He was born in the same house in which Inayat also was born and they were together as babies. This friendship begun from babyhood, linked them as brothers for their whole life. Ali Khan grew to be a devoted friend of Inayat and kept near him at all times and under all conditions. When a child he was taken away from Baroda; either remained in the other's thoughts. After nine years, Ali Khin came again to Baroda and found Inayat quite advanced in many directions. Association renewed the old friendship and they became as fond of each other as they had ever been. Inayat had only to tell his cousin "chalo", which means: let us go, and he, without asking where or why, would take his hat under his arm and follow. The places that Inayat frequented would not always be very interesting for his cousin. For Inayat, young as he was, would visit dervishes, faqirs, philosophers, mystics, who passed through his city. No person of Inayat's age would ever think of going to them and Ali, dragging along with Inayat, would be quite happy to go wherever the latter went, only to be with him and so all was interesting. In this way Ali became the shadow of Inayat and everywhere they were seen together.

Ali came at the time when Alaoddin Khan's influence prevailed in the house, the influence of European music and the atmosphere of modern life, all about. In this way to some extent, Ali Khan was pulled from both sides. He received training in European music; he played all the brass instruments, such as euphoneum, trumpet, trombone, and added to them all, the bagpipes, which often tried Inayat's patience and annoyed the neighbors. Ali Khan acted as right hand in Alaoddin Khan's military band and he coached many youths in different instruments. With all this commotion going on from morning till evening, his only moment of relief was when Inayat came and said to him in the evening: "chalo!"

As a contrast to the European music he loved vina most and used to seek the company of the vina players. His greatest hobby in life was physical culture and wrestling, which prepared him to become an iron wall to stand in support of Inayat against many opposing influences. Ali Khan always showed a great religious spirit, with a most loving heart and was kind and serviceable and most devoted and took pleasure in being of service.