It was indeed an extremely soothing, entrtaining and mesmerising evening of melodious songs amid chilling cold, based on the impressive lyrics and voice of the legend of Garhwali, Kumaoni Uttarakhandi songs late Chandra Singh Rahi sung and the music accorded by his highly talented sons and grandsons namely Veerendra , Ravindra Negi and old n new music fusion expert, Rakesh Bhardwaj amid aplauds and tumultuous appreciation from the over enthusiastic audience at the open theatre at prestigious India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi followed by a super duper hit CHAIT KI CHAITUli song presented by renowned Uttarakhandi and Bollywood singing star AMIT SAGAR with audience dancing on its tunes.
The ocassion was the commemoration of the second death anniversary of the iconic singing personality of Uttarakhand late Chandra Singh Rahi who in his whole life time has done wonders in folk singing, ghazals in Garhwali dialect and mesmerising music. Chander Singh Rahi who hailed from a tiny village of Garhwal Uttarakhand worked in MTNL Delhi but his immense and untiring devotion and dedication towards PAHADI FOLKS, preserving the local dialects, music and singing ( hundreds of interesting, serious aswell as humorous songs depicting the Uttarakhandi culture, folk and traditions) accorded him the best reputation in the Uttarakhandi community globally.
Chandra Singh Rahi performed in hundreds of programmes and cultural events in India as well as abroad and won several recognitions. While he was alive, the government, the successive chief ministers and the concerned cultural ministry n its ministers never recognised his talent as a lyricist, singer and a musician of outstanding callibre and never gave him any respectable position in either its cultural or film bodies but after he died the same politicians throng his functions and events organised by his fans and family to shed crocadile tears.
Today late legend Chander Singh Rahi’s entire family which include his three sons and even grand children are outstanding singers, musicians, lyricists and organisers of great shows who are carrying forward their father’s enriched cultural legacy. Chander Singh Rahi was not an individual but an institution who will continue to inspire, guide and encourage the present and the incoming singers of Uttarakhand. Just imagine, a person who devotes his entire life and entertains people from Nazibababad Radio Station decades ago and then through his umpteen and endless songs and music leaves this world empty handed without any recognition from the government of Uttarakhand during the last 15 years, sounds shocking. I on behalf of the Uttarakhand Journalists Forum and Uttarakhand third Front convey my heartfelt tributes to this great Uttarakhandi singing legend of his time and advice the present and the incoming singers to follow suit from his ideals, outstanding songs, lyrics, music and extraordinary voice.
The uniqueness of this cultural evening was that all the Rahi’s song which once used to be sung on simle musical instruments like harmonium, tabla and ” “hudki” were blended with modern orchestra in a fusion mode of old and new western music though the legend’s original songs were also sung in the traditional mode.
SUNIL NEGI, President, Uttarakhand Journalists Forum