Padma Bhushan Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan came to Chandigarh on his 105th birthday. We received him at the airport in the every inch marigold decorated wheel chair and took him in floral decorated car. His room too had marigold garlands on all the four walls . At  the head end hanged a wall length long Happy birthday banner made of semi precious stones. At the entry door was the  poster with his life size picture for the program.

I was  thrilled when I could see that the floral and personal welcome took away the tiredness of long journey of 105 yr old man lovingly called "Baba". The photographers and journalists were in attendance. Baba told them that he would interact in 10 minutes. Everyone waited patiently than there was a flow of questions and such intelligent answers from his treasure of amazing memory. The next morning all this was in press front pages and catchy headings.
 
 
My laboratory assistant Nadeem arrived same evening to his room with a special gift of Eid Chadar, Tagami and Topi for Baba. Baba had  tears of joy, he remarked "there cant be a better gift on this auspicious day of Eid"! Next day we invited him with dignitaries of town for Birthday celebrations in the best five star hotel of Chandigarh. The hotel staff welcome him with traditional tilak and arti and showered rose petals on him . His much decorated chair with roses looked like kings" sinhasan" There were dignitaries in attendance to greet him.They were Home secretaries of two states, finance secretary , education secretory, PS to chief minister, Directors of 7 top education institutes of Chandigarh and surroundings , chairman of SNA few others and our volunteers. From Babas family they were 19 of them from Delhi , Lucknow etc and a few could not come due to curfew in Bareilly. We had cake cutting , gifts followed and then the lavish spread of exotic food!.
Baba took only little rice but he enjoyed people feasting on his great day! Then he went to rest and at the evening concert at the venue I had kept 800 motichur ke Laddu so that everyone  entered the auditorium after eating  "Janamdin ke Laddu".
 
 
The concert was in the beautiful hall of 1200 capacity which was 80 percent full and was well decorated to mark the start of year long celebrations of  institutes golden jubilee. 105 school children quickly greeted him  on stage with rose bud , then the bouquet of 105 roses   and bouquets by so many dignitaries and the concert .
My God , what a voice , the rare compositions and singing style! unparalleled!,  He sang for 2 and a half hour , he could have sang more. People gave him a standing ovation and they also had stood up clapping even to welcome him
 
 
Next day he had a special prayer for Eid in maszid and my assistant brought Senvanya and Pakodi to his room for all of us and we had Eid with him and his relatives.
He gave us EIDY, being from India you would understand how special is all this. Then he gave the TV interview for the channel and thumaris etc which he sang without mike were so beautiful He said that this was his best birthday celebration in life and it was beyond his imaginations !.Every thing was grand and my experience can not be pen,this is like lifetime achievement award for my soul! SPIC MACAY gave me this rich experience!.

- Shakuntala Lavasa