It’s the 100th year of Delhi University, and amid the celebrations that have been going on, singer Kailash Kher tells us that he has been invited to perform at the varsity, along with his band Kailasa. On his recent trip to the city, without divulging more details, Kher says, “Whenever we perform for DU, wahan ki energy bahut alag hoti hai. Sabhi (colleges) ke principals, professors aur students humko bahut laad karte hain. Especially because the spectrum of the genres we perform is so wide. Hum spiritual gaane bhi gaate hain, romantic bhi gaate hai. This is how we manage to touch the hearts of our audience.”
The singer, who was born in Vinod Nagar and spent his childhood in a humble environment in Delhi, shares even though he has been in the limelight for quite a while now, his way of living hasn’t changed much. “Hum rehte toh hain rockstars ke duniya mein, lekin practise karte hain bikul saadgi aur tapasvi ke jaise jeete hai,” he adds. At this point, he recalls an old incident that still leaves him stunned: “We were in the middle of a performance at a college, when a fan just got on the stage, possibly, to hug us. Our bouncers had to restrain him since his body language didn’t seem very safe. One might call it a fan moment, but for me, it was a scary aspect of stardom.”
While in the Capital, the Padma Shri recipient also performed at the recent Tiranga Utsav, at Indira Gandhi Stadium. Welling up with patriotic fervour, he shares his experience at the show. “Bahut pyara concept lagaya hai poore bharat warsh ke logo ke liye, ki ae mere bhartiyon, 13 se 15 August apne ghar mein jhanda lehraiye. We also launched an anthem titled Har Ghar Tiranga at the event.”
Kher, whose name is synonymous with patriotic numbers such as Taaranhaar, Hum Hindustani and Desh Par Jaan Lutaenge, says his passion for nationalistic tunes stemmed from his childhood. He recalls being a part of his school’s choir during the Independence Day celebrations. “Be it my schooldays in Delhi or in Meerut, whenever there would be Republic Day or Independence Day celebrations, I would always be a part of them. School ke chote chote choirs hote the. Usmein hum hissa lete the, aur deshbhakti ke gaane gaate the,” he reminisces. Today, his 12-year-old son Kabir’s favourite patriotic song is Hindustan Meri Jaan. “Pehle maine ek gana banaya paramilitary forces ke liye, Bharat Ke Veer. Woh bhi poori duniya ko pasand aaya tha aur Kabir ko bhi. Issi tarah se Army ke liye, Hum Sher Tere Galwan Ke, woh Army headquarters ke liye banaya hai,” he adds.
Kher goes on to add that these songs are especially important ahead of these occasions to instil a sense of belonging in the people of the country. “Humari education aur upbringing mein bahut confusions hote hain. Ek belonging ki kami hai logon mein. Our country has been through so much to reach where it has today, that we often forget to pause amid our hustle and admire all that we have achieved. We should all utilise occasions like these to admire the ups and downs that we have been through and celebrate our progress.”
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