(Last Updated on : 17-05-2012)
Gulab Bai was born in a backward caste of entertainers in Balpurva, Farrukhabad district
, in the Indian state
of Uttar Pradesh
in 1926. As a young girl she was trained under Ustad Trimohan Lai of the Kanpur gharana and Ustad Mohammad Khan of the Hathras gharana. She created a sensation in Lai's troupe as the first woman to perform Nautanki
. Gradually, she developed an individual style of singing dadra
, lavani, bahar-e-tabil, and chaubola, and became famous for her acting in lead roles. For example; Laila in Laila-Majnun; i.e. "Laila and Majnun", Shirin in Shirin-Farhad i.e. "Shirin and Farhad", Taramati in Harishchandra
. By the 1940s, she was earning over Rs 2000 a month. In 1955, she founded the Great Gulab Theatrical Company in Kanpur
, which tours the Hindi heartland for eight months in the year. Gulab Bai also recorded many discs, and taught the Kanpur gharana of Nautanki.
Gulab Bai died in the year 1996.
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