Tribune News Service
Amritsar, December 6
Decked up in traditional Rajasthani dress, Amar Singh, a folk artist, sets the mood inside a Rajasthani restaurant located at Novelty Chowk here.
He plays ravanahatha (a traditional Rajasthani stringed instrument) and can sing in four languages – Rajasthani, Punjabi, Hindi and Haryanvi – as per the demand of the customers, who besides relishing the food also have the company of his soothing voice.
He starts performing in the noon as it is time for customers to arrive at the eating joint. “I love singing and playing music and this is what my forefathers did. I learned this art from them and will pass the baton to my sons,” he said.
The people present request him to play several numbers, mostly Punjabi and Hindi. Humbly accepting their demands, he plays famous Punjabi folk song “sun charkhe di mithi mithi ghook, mahiya mainu yaad aunda”, a big hit with the customers. But that Rajasthani touch given to Punjabi folk and other traditional songs is what makes it all the more captivating.
It is the love and appreciation of people which gets him going. When asked how he learned these languages. “I learned it by listening to songs in these languages and interacting with people,” he used to ask colleagues about the meaning of the lyrics.
However, the main occupation of his family was agriculture while his forefathers used to perform as a hobby. He also performs bhajans, Hindi and Punjabi songs during marriages and during religious fairs besides performing in hotels and restaurants.
“I enjoy the people appreciate me and given get pictures clicked with me. “Sometimes I feel I am no less than a celebrity,” he chuckles. Earlier, he performed in restaurants at Chennai, Delhi and a couple of other prominent cities before coming to Amritsar this year. However, the lockdown forced him to return to his native place and return only a couple of months ago.