Young at heart

  • Rameshinder Singh Sandhu, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Nov 14, 2013 17:07 IST

Celebrated Punjabi singer Gurdas Maan had made the point clearly years ago in one of songs that said, ‘Dilhona chahida jawan, umraan cha ki rakheya…’ (The heart ought to be young, what’s there in growing old?)

If we were to look at life backwards, there would indeed be no time more magical than childhood — a time so carefree, one would think no worry would ever come close. The region’s celebrities look back at their own past, revisit memories that are touching and warm, and share facets that very few know of.

Sharry Mann, singer, SAS Nagar

According to Sharry Mann, studies gave him a hard time when he was a student, especially subjects such as English and mathematics. However, extracurricular activities in the school and college gave him a big high.

An age I’d like to return to…

"I really enjoyed when I was in Classes 5 and 6, since I was pampered a lot by my parents. In those days, I would play a lot with a dog that we had adopted. In school, a teacher called Kaushal ma’am appreciated me a lot for my cultural performances in school functions, while my English teacher, Bedi ma’am, would thrash me many a time," laughs Sharry, adding after a pause, "Going to my maternal grandparents’ home during school vacations via bus from Chandigarh to village Kotla in Moga was one of my happiest moments. There, I would spend at least a month."

A mischief no one yet knows of…
“As a school student, I could be often spotted in a library, not because I liked to study but because I wanted to bunk lectures,” laughs the singer.

A message for the grown-ups
“My parents pressurised me to take up engineering because my neighbour’s son was also doing it. My interest lay in singing and I wanted to attain a degree in music. However, at the end of the day, I just followed my passion and became what I wanted to be. So, parents should understand the passions of their children. You can take a boy out of the country, but not a country of out of boy. In simple terms, if someone is passionate about something, no one can disconnect him or her from it.”

Rana Ranbir, actor, Dhuri (Sangrur)

Anything but a shy kid, Rana would be spotted on stage more often than in the classroom. As a student, the popular actor-comedian says he would eagerly await events where he could display his talent and keenly participated in debates, plays, skits, poetry recitation and singing contests.

An age I’d like to return to…

"I really miss the days when I was in Classes 6 and 7, when we would quarrel a lot in the class and play kabaddi round the clock. There was nothing to worry then," Rana reminisces. Now, Rana says he can replay his childhood with his children. "I turn into a child when I play with my children and often share my childhood days with them," he smiles.

A mischief no one yet knows of…
Once, Rana was at his aunt’s village where he fell off the roof while flying a kite and got badly hurt. But, the actor says he informed no one. “I was scared of the thrashing that I would get from my aunt and parents, who had persistently told me not to fly kites over the rooftop, but I never listened to them. So, I kept this incident under wraps till now,” laughs Rana, who later shared it with his wife.

A message for the grown-ups
“Let your children be what they want to be. If they want to pursue arts, let them. And remember that medical or engineering is not everything. Once, my mother pressurised me to take up non-medical after I hadpassed Class 10, but I failed because it was not my cup of tea,” he says.

Sarabjeet Cheema, singer, Jalandhar

Since childhood, enthusiasm ran high in Sarabjeet’s life for almost everything — from cultural activities to sports and extracurricular activities. Classroom was not captivating enough for the singer, who always kept himself busy in various activities.

An age I’d like to return to…

As a child, Sarabjeet says he was naughty but honest. "I would also await cultural events in the village and at school, that made my days vibrant and interesting. I took great interest in village sports where I was awarded numerous times. Those were the best days of my life, when I was growing up and getting introduced to my passion," shares the singer about his best memories, adding that his childhood was simple but a very lively period, and thereby better than the childhood of today’s children.

A mischief no one yet knows of…
Insisting that he was a simple and obedient kid who never indulged in mischief, Sarabjeet does relent and tell us finally that he would, at the most, miss classes to attend sports events or particiapte in cultural activities when in school.

A message for the grown-ups
I want to advise all parents to ensure that their children have a balanced life in which they participate in extracurricular activities with as much zeal as they study. “And, choose a career as per your interest, otherwise life can turn soulless,” he says.

Lakhwinder Wadali, singer, Guru ki Wadali (Amritsar)

Lakhwinder took birth in a family of renowned musicians, with his father Puran Chand Wadali and his uncle Pyare Lal Wadali being the duo popularly known as the Wadali Brothers. Lakhwinder believes that the musically-rich environment in the family made him a singer, as he remembers spending most of his time as a child practicing music.

An age I’d like to return to…

"I remember those days when as a child, I would peep into the music sessions of my father and uncle at home, who would be so dedicated to their craft. It actually touched me and at a very small age, they also involved me in their sessions. I wish I could return to those days, which will always remain special for me. Whatever I am today is all because of their training and encouragement," says Lakhwinder.

A mischief no one yet knows of…
“Since I would hate mathematics, I would often bunk the maths period which was the last before the school got over. On one such occasion before running from school, I threw my bag over the school wall and it fell in a watery ditch. When I got home and my mother saw a wet bag and books, she asked me how it happened and gave me a sound thrashing when she learnt what I had done,” laughs the Sufi singer.

A message for the grown-ups
Life becomes very special and beautiful when you do what you like, believes the young singer, adding that it can, on the contrary, be very discouraging if we do what we do not like. Lakhwinder implores the students to do what they love.

Pammi Bai, folk singer, Jakhepal (Sangrur)

Pammi Bai, one of Punjab’s most popular folk singers, believes that his love for folk music was born out of his upbringing in a rural background. His education in a rural school introduced him to the rich culture, heritage and folk traditions of Punjab, says the singer.

An age I’d like to return to… Bai_compressed.jpg

"I really miss my friends, especially those with me when I was in Classes 8 and 9. I also remember Shafi Mohammed sir, my geography teacher, and Jodh Singh, the headmaster of the school that I attended. They encouraged me a lot whenever I sang or performed the bhangra," smiles Bai, adding, "we would run away from school when we came to know about any live concert of a folk singer being organised in the village or any sports event happening around."

A mischief no one yet knows of…
“In school, I would usually sit in the second row since the first was meant for studious students. Once, when I was in Class 4 or 5, I placed a small nail on the bench of an intelligent first-bencher. He got hurt and I was badly thrashed by the teacher,” recalls Bai with a laugh.

A message for the grown-ups
“I would suggest all elders to help their children stay in touch with their mother tongue and culture,” says Bai, adding that one who has forgotten his or her roots can never stand tall in life. “It pinches me when I visit countries such as France and Germany where people love their mother tongue more than our kids,” adds the singer.

also read

Councillor’s report card: Party or oppn, Satinder Singh doesn’t mince words
Show comments