Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Writer with 100-yr-old singer

Amid calls that Kashmiri heroes should be retrieved from the junkyard of history, an aging, forlorn artist is ruing the neglect slapped on him by state’s literary and cultural institutions.

During the prime of his youth Ghulam Qadir Langoo, 110, was the most sought-after singer. He was the ‘court singer’ of Maharaja Hari Singh who would specially ask for Langoo to please his guests. Langoo used to charm Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s grandfather and the then most popular leader Sheikh Abdullah in Pune jail where he would sing Mahjoor’s famous patriotic number Walo ha bagwano nowbaharuk shaan paida kar to the jailed leader. Back home, then J&K Prime Minister Bakhshi Ghulam Muhammad would book Langoo for an extended weekend during which the singer would mesmerize PM and his aides with romantic folk number Ditamo darshun bharayo pyalo, Wathu lalo nindray.

Living in a ‘creative exile’ at his humble house at Shaheed Gunj, Langoo recollects his role in promoting Kashmiri folk singing through Radio Kashmir. “When I sang on microphone I didn’t expect it would impress the authorities. The director asked me to identify more talent. I picked up Raj Begum, Zooni Begum, Ghulam Mohiudin Balpuri , Mohan Lal Aima etc.”

Full report here Rising Kashmir

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