M A I N   N E W S

Jasraj breaks down in mother tongue
Sushil Manav

Fatehabad, December 31
Pandit Jasraj, renowned exponent of Indian classical music and recipient of the Padma Shree award, was overcome with nostalgia, when he visited his native village, Pilimandori, in this district yesterday.

The singer visited his village on the invitation of a local social organisation. The Deputy Commissioner Dr R.B. Langyan, and Mr Ranjit Singh, Customs officer from Mumbai, who also belonged to this area, were present on the occasion.

Pandit Jasraj asked the driver to stop the car as soon as it reached the village boundary. He descended from the car, took a handful of village soil and touched it to his forehead with reverence.

Pandit Jasraj could not stop his emotions when he was asked to address the people. He first wiped his tears with a towel and with a voice choked with emotions, he spoke in local Bagri dialect: “Mein thane kih kahun, maine to kih shabad hie koni pan lagriha. Mera man to kare se ke is rajj mein lot jaun. Mere liye yeh bhumi Brindavan se kum nahin” (What shall I say to you? I am feeling short of words. I feel like rolling my body on the soil of this village. This place is no less than Brindavan for me.). He asked the villagers why they were addressing him as Panditji? People used to address him as Jasia in this village. He said that this being his birthplace was very dear to him and added that it was because of the attachment to this place that he was here today. He said he should have come here earlier. He, however, regretted on learning that no one from the village had tried to learn classical music. He said that if the villagers formed a cultural organisation to promote classical music, he would come to the village every year. He also offered a sum of Rs 1 lakh for the same.

Pandit Jasraj was born in Pilimandori village on January 28, 1930. He belongs to a family of musicians. His father Pandit Moti Ram and uncle Pandit Jyoti Ram were singers of the Jammu and Kashmir raj gharana. He, however, left the village and started learning classical music under the guidance of his elder brother Pandit Mani Ram. He married actor-director V. Shantaram’s daughter, Madhura. His daughter, Durga Jasraj, is a well-known television personality. His son, Sarang Dev, is a music director. His two nieces, Sulakshana Pandit and Vijayeta Pandit, were film actresses while his nephews, Jatin and Lalit, are well-known music directors of Bollywood.

Talking to mediapersons, Pandit Jasraj said there was no parallel of Indian classical music in the world. He said the trend of remix and pop music was like a tide in the ocean, which would subside with time, but classical music had very deep roots.

The doyen of classical music said learning of classical music required a lot of devotion and discipline. He said it was quite ironical that while in our own country youths were attracted to pop music, the number of lovers of classical music was increasing day by day in Western countries. The maestro said he had organised many shows of classical music abroad.

On being asked how he felt coming to his birthplace, he said he had come here after 27 years and the happiness he felt was more than that he had got while receiving the Padam Shri.

The people who had gone to the village with the hope of listening to a classical rendition by Pandit Jasraj were disappointed as he did not give a performance.

The Deputy Commissioner, Dr R.B. Langyan, presented a memento to the classical singer on behalf of the village. He regretted that the renowned classical singer had never been honoured in his own state. He said it was more ironical that not many people knew that Pandit Jasraj belonged to this place.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |