A 42 Years Old Musical Bond
In the middle of the mountains, the peace one feels is equivalent to the one that you feel after listening to the Mahendro and Veena’s melodious voice and rhythm. Mahendro belongs from Gaddi community and his music as sweet as his nature. He has beautiful stories of Chamba and Palampur from where he belongs. He was doing a job as labour until he was 20 but after that, the Gaddi music pulled him and he became engrossed in the sweetness of it from where his musical journey began. Chirping and down to Earth Mahendro shyly told us that he is married to Veena for 42 years and from that time ever since they have been singing together. When you see the duo you could see only two people but they are playing the role of five. Mahendro plays Rubab, Khanjira and Dhol together simultaneously with his singing whereas Veena plays Majira and sings too. To document them we reached a place in the beautiful mountains of Dharamshala. We had to make it special for the duo and there we chose a place which was at the edge of the mountain in between a river valley going down the hills. The place was just perfect to record them as it signified its serenity and beauty together with the music of this couple.
After making them settle down and wiring them up with our equipment when they went ahead and started singing, everything came together in the picture. They started with a song dedicated to their Lord Shiva describing his life with both his wives Gauri and Parvati, leading to another which stated the tale of Lord Shiva’s marriage. The music was so sweet in the rhythm that it bound us for the entire time and it felt like they should never stop. Mahendro and Veena hail from Palampur and have been their ever since they got married. About the Gaddi folk music they told us that it is a culture which is different and beyond from the world, and thus comparing it with something else is just they can’t even think of. They would do anything but never leave their music. They have two children together, both are married and the condition of their living is also doable but still never thought of retiring from the music that they play. Because for them their love for music is nothing less than their love for their children and their families. On this note, Veena tells us that, its passion for her which she would never let go off and it is the dearest thing in her life. They can’t imagine their life without it.