Last day of documentation was very memorable because of this sincere and innocent group of young men who invited us to their beautiful village of Fojal in the Kullu district. From its position and look, Fojal surely resembles a wonderland. Away from the crowd of Kullu Manali tourists, it is a place where one can relax and enjoy the beauty of mountains together. The places hold one’s sight in a manner which cannot be explained. The snow-covered peaks around with the apple, peach orchards everywhere. One can not ignore the colours and freshness around. Khekh Ram and his group called us above at a spot which was the best spot to capture the beauty of the place and document the group.
Khekh Ram, a 30 year old man who drew his inspiration to learn music from his parents. He is a singer and has a folk group in Pradi village, Kullu. He began learning music when he was 14 years old, a teenager, for him a career in music was his dream. As he grew up, he formed a group along with a few other men from his village. Khekh Ram recalls his childhood and gives it credit to the fairs and festivals that used to happen in his village, for his interest in music. His first memory of folk music was his elder sister’s wedding, where all the elders in his village came together and danced all through the night. It was then he got to know that it is a folk dance called Kullu Nati.
For his melodious voice he gives credit to his father from whom he learnt the art of singing Kulvi traditional songs. His school also motivated him to participate in more and more school singing competitions after his first performance in 10th grade. Ever since, Khekh Ram has performed in several fairs, wedding, competitions in Himachal Pradesh.
His group has a band of talented traditional instrumentalists who play Shehnai, Dhol, Nagada, Karnal,etc. The group proves to be perfect marriage between instruments and Khekh Ram’s voice. Together they mostly perform at wedding functions for which they are invited for 3 to 4 days. They wish to perform at an international level and make the village proud of them. Khekh Ram and others also handle their respective farms to support their families for living. With so many responsibilities, they still manage to perform and entertain people around them.