Punjabi folk singer Arif Lohar, known for singing the hugely popular song Jugni Ji, was in Chandigarh to perform at Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Landran, on Saturday. With over 150 albums and more than 3,000 songs under his belt, freshness and enthusiasm for music makes him one of the most popular performers in South Asia. Here are the excerpts of an interview with the Sufi legend.
How does it feel to perform in Chandigarh again?
For me, it’s all Punjab, a Punjab like back home in Pakistan. Coming here is just the other side of the door. I feel that my own people live here. I find language similarity and love here.
What did you learn from your father (Alam Lohar)?
Je tussi apne ma piyo de aashiq ho jao the duniya tuhadi aashiq ban jaandi hai (I believe that people who make their parents their friends are the luckiest). My father’s once told me, “What can I tell you about the music son, it is in your blood and it will speak for itself.”My father taught me to always appear with love and grace and be honest.
How are Indian artistes welcomed in Pakistan?
They are always welcomed with love and respect. Pakistanis are always excited to see their star performers from across the border and love to watch them perform. We only wish that more such programmes existed that allowed frequent and free travel of artistes across the border. Art and love are the answer to all the strife.
What does the term Sufi mean to you? Who is a Sufi?
Sufi is a person who speaks the language of love, joins hearts and has no malice for any one. It is difficult to be a true Sufi but not impossible. All we need to do is remove the malice from our heart and be good to everyone. Everyone is a Sufi. We just need to find it in our heart. The one who can cry is also a Sufi as he has emotions (Koi bhi insaan jiski aankhon main aasun hote hain, jo rota hai, vo Sufi hai, kyunki aadmi sirf tab rota hai agar vo Sufi hota hai).