An Aureate Voice

  • An Aureate Voice

    Sunday, November 24th, 1991

Daler Singh Mehndi can easily pass foe someone in the crowd until he says Sa, Re, Ga... He may not have the looks to dazzle yet he possesses a voice soaked in meldoy that lends his personality an aura of respectability bordering glamour. He sees it as his passport to glory and fame, something he is desperate for. No wonder< he says, "I'll work hard for it." He claims thatmoney is not primary for him. " I come back from America after staying there for long, leaving a green-card behind. And mind you, I was doing regular stage shows there with Kabir Bedi, Rama Vij, Dara Singh et al," One could see his chest swell with pride.

Young Daler inherited a legacy of music from his family, his father is a classical singer, his great grandfather, Muala Singh was a court singer in the employ of the Maharaja of Kapurthala. Learning the basics from his father, Daler perfected his skills under the watchful eyes of Ustad Rahat Ali Khan, a disciple of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan of Patiala gharana. At times Daler's voice seems to reflect shades of Ghulam Ali's artistery. He feels that it is perhaps natural as both of them belong to one particular gharana. "Aur vaise bhi Ghulam Ali sahab to bade unche kalakaal hain, jinhe main barabar sunta aaya hoon."

Who apart from the famous Pakistani 'ghazal-sara' does he like? "Mehndi Hasan sahab and Jagjitji." he gushes forth. Daler also reveals that he can't listen to the old Hindi film songs for it brings him to tears. Nevertheless, he showers heaps of praise on the singer of yesteryears.

23-year-old Daler enjoys singing all kinds of music, especially thumris, ghazala and Punjabi folk. These days he is busy recording a double-cassette album of Punjabi folk and Punjabi ghazala. Paramjit Singh of "Golden melodies" - The company that is releasing the cassettes shortly, says, "Daler has rendered old folk mukhras in traditional rhythm without too many instruments. i have a feeling that it'll be a great hit because lyrics have not been diluted by excess music."

Singh believes that Daler has a superb voice that has been nurturted the old way, a quality that seperates him from others. He vehemently denied that he picked up Daler for he would come in cheap than an already established singer. "Believe me, it is not cheap to promote a young fellow. One has to spend money on publicity, stage shows etc." He adds that could have very easily signed a couple of well-known Punjabi singers who do not require any publicity to sell. "But the objective of my company is basically to unearth and promote talent untapped so far by the big companies." Incidentally, Paramjit Singh himself is a good singer. He has to his credit super hit Punjabi number Eho kudee lainne ai.

Daler Singh 'Mehndi' is aware that someone has put his money on him in right faith. He is all praise for Singh, He discloses that before approaching Singh he had met a number of people in the music-industry but everyone treated him like dirt. They would often ask him kya aap falaan se aacha ga sakte hain?

A married man, he has a supportive wife who is prepared to let Daler dabble in music even at the cost of pleasure of a settled family life. He feels that he is extremely lucky to have found a wife like that. "What I now want is a slice of luck."

Source :- The Hindustan Times By Pratik Joshi