Merajuddin Rather, a 14-year-old from Aroo, a village near Pahalgam in Kashmir, has become the first singer from the valley to sing for a Bollywood movie. The Class IX student was singing a prayer at the morning assembly when a Bollywood crew shooting nearby heard him.
Director Piyush Jha called him and asked if he wanted me to sing in his movie. “I was surprised to receive an offer from an unknown face. I have sung the same prayer in the movie,” said the shy 14 year-old singing the first line of the song: “Yeh Arzoo thi meri, arzoo ko dastay rehmat say kalima padhaw (It was my wish that your sacred hands be on my head as I recite the kalima).”
Rather is now on the brink of a promising career. He debuts as playback singer with Sikander, Jha’s film produced by Big Pictures and Sudhir Mishra’s production house, CineRas Ltd.
The Class IX student said the director has promised him more. “He told me that I must act in his movies as well. I am delighted. My parents are really proud of me,” he said. Rather, he is now something of a hero. He is constantly pressed to sing ‘that’ song.
His friends, he said treat him “like a king. They think I have conquered the world. I keep on telling them it is just a beginning. They keep asking me about my next song”.
The Pahalgam boy believes God heard his prayer and fulfilled his ambition to be a playback singer. “The prayer I was reciting was full of praises for the Prophet. I believe God might have liked that and that is why my wish of becoming a singer came true right away,” he says.