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Group: Rajinder – Shakuntala
Rajinder Singh was born on New Year’s Day in 1974 in a small village called Samra in Bharmour in Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh. He learned to sing while he was in school. His parents used to sing and play ruvana and khanjri during weddings, festivals and religious events. Rajinder also sometimes went with his parents and sing with them. It inspired him to follow Pahari music. After that, he learned music and play instruments from a local teacher in Bharmour. He believes that music is a gift of God and not everyone is gifted with it. He finds himself fortunate to be blessed with his gifts and doesn’t miss one opportunity to sing. He believes that music is like a torch given to him by his parents, which was in turn given to them by their parents and further he wants to pass it to his children. After his schooling, he used to help his parents in farming and occasionally went to perform.
Rajinder sings and plays ruvana, khanjari and ghungroo, simultaneously. Shakuntala Devi accompanies Rajinder by singing and playing kalsi or cymbals. He says that people in Himachal are very religious and there are a lot of myths and traditions present in society. One of which is when someone wishes for something to a deity, he calls couples like Rajinder and Shakuntala and organizes a Musada Gayan in his home. It is like a jagrata where 100-200 people of the village come together and praise and worship Hindu Gods and Goddesses overnight. At the end of it, in the morning, the person who organizes the Musada ties a sacred thread or dori at the end of the ruvana. It is a general belief that wishes are granted and when it happens, the person whose wish gets fulfilled, calls for a Musada, again. Rajinder says they like to sing other Pahadi songs as well, but they essentially get offers to sings Musada which constitutes the largest amount of the income. Rajinder likes singing songs which are on nature like songs on Ravi, Chamba mountains, and lives of people.
- Himachal Pradesh