Phone : +91 9805750078
Group: Kashmiri Lal and Group
Kashmiri Lal was born in a small village in Bharmour in Chamba but shifted to another village called Jia in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. He has a family of five with his mother, wife and his children. His children are studying now in school while one of his daughters got married. He works as a folk musician for a living. But music is more than a source of livelihood for him, it is his passion. He likes to sing pahadi and even Punjabi songs. He used to sing mainly religious songs, especially dedicated to Lord Shiva. He used to work many small jobs but then finally decided to follow the music. Sometimes he also works as a farmer to supplement his earnings. It had been 35 years that he had been singing. He belongs to the Gaddi community. The people of the community were historically shepherds and used to graze sheep and cows in high altitude pastures of Himalayas. It is believed that a lot of compositions were made by people while grazing their animals. They are avid worshippers of Lord Shiva and their devotion is visible in their songs. The community has a rich culture, from bright costumes for both men and women to cultural festivals like Basua or Baisakhi, Minjar Mela, etc. All this culture is reflected in Kashmiri Lal’s lifestyle. His day begins with worshiping Bhole Nath or Lord Shiva and start the deeds of the day. Also, during the evening when the deeds are done, the whole family prays together. He says that in almost every home there is a small temple shrine in their courtyard or verandah or a room dedicated to their family deity.
Kashmiri Lal grew up in Chamba. His father was a farmer and his mother used to manage the household. He learned to sing from his guru in Bharmour, Chamba. His guru also taught him to play khanjari and ruvana. He was inspired by his guru and the various folk tales which he used to tell him. He used to understand the meaning of each song very patiently. He started finding solace in the various stories present in each song which further sparked interest in him to pursue music. After his marriage, he and wife used to play musada and visit villages. But due to some personal reasons, his wife stopped singing, but Kashmiri Lal continued singing. He used to sing alone and sometimes in other groups as well. He in his earlier group used to sing in various villages and many cities in India. Today, he masters khanjari and ruvana but plays a lot of instruments like shehnai, tabla and narasingha. Just like most of the people of Himachal Pradesh, he is very religious. Then he started singing with his nephews. He started teaching them and now it has been 2.5 years that they are singing together. He and his nephews have performed in almost every corner in Himachal Pradesh and also in Delhi. He has performed in national and state-level cultural programmes and festivals. On average he gets 8-9 programmes in a month. Monthly they get around twenty thousand rupees by doing various programmes in Himachal Pradesh. He is against people mixing folk music with western music which he believes destroys the sanctity of the music. He spread the idea that pahadi music should be sung like a pahadi music or Punjabi music should be mixed with Punjabi music without interfering or mixing them.
- Himachal Pradesh