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Posted at: Jul 18, 2017, 12:25 AM; last updated: Jul 18, 2017, 12:25 AM (IST)

Notes of a poet

He is rooted to the soil. His words flow from tradition. He is Charan Likhari, Punjabi writer, poet and lyricist

Jasmine Singh

You’d rarely find him wearing anything formal; the only piece of clothing he has ever known is kurta pyjama. He has read everything that falls under Punjabi literature...Warish Shah, Surjit Pattar. He never misses a single kavi samelann if he comes to know about it and his only regret is that had Humanyunama been written in Punjabi, he would have loved to read it. “There is so much English literature that I want to read, but I can’t since I know only Punjabi,” Punjabi writer, poet and lyricist Charan Likhari shares.

Lyrical melody

Don’t go by his appearance or his chaste ‘Majha’ Punjabi, Likhari is the most sought-after lyricist in Punjabi music industry when it comes to meaningful lyrics. The much-acclaimed song of Ranjit Bawa, Jatt Di Akal, has been written by Likhari. “It all started when Manmohan Waris sang four of my songs; later while I was working at Khalsa College, I met Ranjit Bawa and he liked the song Jatt Di Akal, which he sang of course.” The song made Ranjit a household name!

Simple life

It was from here that Likhari started his journey in the Punjabi entertainment industry. But unlike others in this industry, you wouldn’t see him at any award functions; and rarely does he share his pictures with other renowned singers. All his FB posts are either about issues of Punjab or about the vast literature; no self-praise. Charan does not make any effort to make his songs preachy. “My intention while writing the song is that it should be rooted, us vichon mitti di khusboo aani chahidi hai,” he adds.

Absurd lyrics

No wonder the lyricist is amazed at the kind of songs being written these days. “Half of the people have become lyricists without any clue about what they are writing. I doubt if they ever pick up any book to read.”

The solution to the absurd lyrics according to Charan Likhari lies within the community. “If all lyricists decide to write sensibly then the singers will be singing sensible songs, this is how the trend will change,” says the man from Tarn Taran, whose has given songs to acclaimed singers like Amrinder Gill, Ammy Virk and many new singers.

He has currently left his job and now devotes his time reading and writing; his room is packed with every possible book written in Punjabi. “Jey main angrezi padd sakda, mainu hor kine literature da pata hunda,” his says. Yet, he still has a lot of Punjabi literature to get inspired from!

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