Sunday, August 5, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


‘Monsoon Hangama’ enlivens city 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 4
Punjabi songs rendered by Ashok Masti, Surinder Shinda and other noted Punjabi singers drove the audience into frenzy at Monsoon Hangama organised by Punjabi ETC Channel at Magnet Resorts, last night. Thousands of youngsters danced to the foot tapping popular numbers. A big stage along with the screens provided in all corners enabled the audience to enjoy the performance.

“This was the second time that the channel had brought together the top notch Punjabi singers on one stage,” said the president of the channel, Mr Rabindra Narayan, and the programme organiser Mr Rajiee Shinde.

The anchor of the show Gurpreet Ghuggi, had the audience split its sides with his witty comments, anecdotes, and his experiences abroad. The programme started with a song by Jinder Jinda whose new album, Ghuggi Chien, was also released on the occasion. Karan Jasbir’s song ‘Kudi Dhai Lakh Di’ made the audience dance with full vigour. Debi Makshoospuri sung ‘tere picche hundia ladiyaan’. The audience listened with rapt attention to his rendering of Mirza. Surinder Shinda drew wild response from the audience when he sang popular numbers.

Living up to his name, Ashok Masti also regaled the audience with his hit numbers. Sirdool Sikander sang the title song from his latest album ‘Haiya Haiya Ho’ and ‘Dil aj nachan nu nahi karda’. Kamaljeet Neeru delighted the audience with a song from her latest album ‘siti te siti’.


Sardool, Kamaljit for quality music videos
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, August 4
“ Most of the times the artists do not have the choice of songs. We have to sing whatever the producer tells us to do for instance in my latest album Haiya ho Haiya, half the songs are not to my liking, but I had to sing as Bhushan Kumar of T- Series had conceptualised the album”, said Sardool Sikander, famous Punjabi singer in a tete-e-tete with this correspondent last night. He was in the city to perform for Punjabi Channel ETC and so was Kamaljeet Neeru.

His views were shared by Kamaljeet Neeru who has been in this field since 1988 and has released nine albums. She said, “Most of the directors of the videos are from Mumbai and they have very little knowledge of Punjabi culture. If they had they would not use girls coming out of swimming pools in the videos and ask the girls to wear skimpy clothes. Punjabi culture is full of respect for women. Why should a song video show any vulgarity. We are not shooting a bedroom scene, are we?”

On being asked why so many Punjabi singers are mushrooming and then fading away, Sikander said,” If 100 albums of new singers are released, then only 10 singers survive. For a long career in music there are three basic requirements either the lyrics should be very good or “gayaki” or the artist should be a good performer. If any thing is lacking, the singer fails. Most of the new singers on the horizon are like ‘shurlies’ ( a fire cracker) that go up with great speed , spreading light , leaving behind sparks, but falls soon as ashes.”

Sardool’s answers were witty as on being asked from whom he received training from , he replied, “Do the fish ever learn to swim or a bird learns how to fly. Similarly singing is in my blood. For generations, my ancestors have been into gayaki”.

Talking about the need of a censor board to check vulgarity that has crept into Punjabi music, Sardool, who is the president of Lok Gayak Manch said, “In my opinion we should have self restraints. Most of the times the artists are trapped. The companies give the new artists signing amount of Rs 1 lakh or 50,000 and then they force them to do certain scenes or wear some dresses that they do not like. Beggars cannot be choosers. Either they are asked to return the signing amount or do as they are told.

Ms Neeru wanted censor board to keep a check on the quality of music videos being made. She felt the Board would be able to cleanse the whole scene of Punjabi music and give a lot of dignity to performing artists.

She said most of the singers want to make their presence felt on the national scene but means diluting the Punjabi language. If they stick to Punjabi folk music, then their audience become limited. Some Punjabi singers before going on to national scene were performing live almost for 20 to 25 times a month in Punjab but now their performances are limited to two or three.

But both were unanimous in their view that most of the artists were serving the cause of Punjabi Culture. Western music was their guest for a short while and soon it would fade away. Traditional Indian music is solid like a rock and will always be there.

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