Bansi Lal Khiladi



Born Basheer Mohammed in 1944 in Chui village in Nagaur district of Rajasthan, Shri Bansi Lal Khiladi evinced a keen interest in music in his childhood. His father Imambux, proficient singer of Mand, was a formative influence moulding his taste and talent. At the age of thirteen, Shri Khilari left home to join Badriprasad Vaishnav’s Ramlila troupe at Nandoli, was rechristened as Bansi Lal, and worked there for six years. He then moved to a Hathras troupe and worked there for about eight years, acquiring valuable experience as a stage singer. At this point Shri Bansi Lal learnt of the Kuchamani Khyal prevalent in western Rajasthan, and retraced his steps home to join Shri Nathudas’s Kayal troupe at Dugaur. There he began to be titled Khilari and has been called Bansi Lal Khilari ever since. Shri Nathudas trained him in this traditional drama and eventually reposed charge of the troupe in his hands after eleven years, renaming it Bansi Lal Khilari and Party. Over a period of 30 years, Shri Bansi Lal has led the group with distinction, and has won renown himself as a singer-actor. The Khyal plays, based on folk tales, performed by him include Amar Singh Rathor, Jagdev Kankale, Bhakt Pooranmal, Goga Chauhan, Chand Maliyagari, Paras Pitamari, Vikramaditya, and Pao Ridamal. These have presented at various key locations in Rajasthan and festivals all over country. For his service to traditional theatre, Shri Bansi Lal has been honoured by the Rajasthan Sangeet Natak Akademi with its Award in 1995. Shri Bansi Lal Khilari receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Rajasthan’s traditional theatre.