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Musically yours: Kashmiri singers use art to spread awareness in the time of COVID

Singer Altaf Sahil (Photo: Social media)

Srinagar:  Corona se parda kijayee, yeene karye ye duniya neesh door…lockdown aath dawaa, rozew door door…

This is the Kashmiri contrafactum of a popular Bollywood number Chand se Parda kijayee… from 1994 Saif Ali Khan-starrer Aao Pyar Karen.  Sung by Altaf Sahil, the lyrics of the original song have been swapped with Kashmiri lines to create a new version for spreading awareness about the deadly coronavirus in the valley.

From spreading awareness to paying tributes to frontline workers, Kashmiri singers have come a long way to redefine music in the time of Corona.

“Everyone knows washing hands and wearing masks is important. We want people to remain indoors. That is why we came up with music that is laced with a message,” said Altaf Sahil, who has sung more than four songs about Corona since lockdown started.

Most of the songs have been released on social media platforms for a wider reach. Lakhs of people have liked, viewed, and shared the songs on Facebook, WhatsApp, and other social media platforms. 

Sample this: Zanane daup mardas laghi pare, ba tches chaene anwarai.. cornavirusan asse wane mairee, ba tches chaene anwarai …has notched over 1.93 lakh views on one Facebook page.

“It took us two days to make lyricist understand what we actually want. We wanted to provide entertainment as well as create awareness,” Sahil said.

Not only contrafactum or mashups, original scores about the coronavirus have taken social media by storm. 

Yeh dour-e-corona guzar jayaga…sung by Imran Lateef has been a runaway hit. My Marhaba song, which is a tribute to frontline workers, has notched a large number of shares and views. Basically, it is the artist’s way of paying tribute to people who are fighting corona. It is our contribution to society. We want to use our art to prevent the spread of the virus,” said Aijaz Rah, another singer who has released three songs online.

Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, Munir Ahmad said they have composed around nine songs in Kashmiri, Dogri, Urdu, and Hindi, to create awareness about Coronavirus.

 “We are the first in the country to spread awareness through music. Our first song sung by Munir Mir was a runaway hit. It was released on March 25 and it had 2000 shares from one Facebook page. Later we created more songs in Kashmiri, Dogri, Urdu, and Hindi. And all of them have been received well by the people,” he said.