IndependenceDay2022: Singer Asees Kaur says she’s blessed to be an Indian

Updated on Aug 15, 2022 12:13 PM IST

On Independence Day, Asees Kaur shares what it means to be a patriot in today’s day and age, how she yearns to sing patriotic numbers.

From loving memories of growing up in a free country to the heart wrenching memoirs of her grandparents, singer Asees Kaur relives it all as she looks at the India Gate that gets the Tricolour crown when dusk sets in (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)
From loving memories of growing up in a free country to the heart wrenching memoirs of her grandparents, singer Asees Kaur relives it all as she looks at the India Gate that gets the Tricolour crown when dusk sets in (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)
By, New Delhi

Much like her fellow Indians, singer Asees Kaur feels immense pride, joy and gratitude for her country as it marks 75 years of Independence, today. “I am blessed that I am an Indian,” she says while soaking in patriotic fervour at India Gate.

The singer, who has lent her voice to Bollywood chartbusters such as Raataan Lambiyan (Shershaah; 2021) and Ve Maahi (Kesari; 2019), performed at the Thyagaraj Stadium in the Capital on the eve of Independence Day. Wearing her love for the country, Kaur shares, “I was very excited [for the event]. We were to present different colours of the Indian Flag. I represented white and sang Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram... I would really love to sing patriotic songs [in films]. One song that I wish I had sung was Ae Watan from Raazi (2018).”

From loving memories of growing up in a free country to the heart-wrenching memoirs of her grandparents having witnessed the aftermath of the Partition, she relives it all as she looks at India Gate, which gets the Tricolour crown when dusk sets in. “I’m really lucky that I was born in free India. My dada and dadi would tell us horrifying tales of Partition. I know their stories, struggles and all the hardships that they have gone through,” says Kaur.

As she delves further into her childhood, memories of performing at Independence Day functions as part of her school’s choir come rushing back to her: “I’ve been a singer since the age of five. I used to sing all the patriotic songs, Vande Mataram and Jana Gana Mana. I remember singing on the stage with others, all of us in our Tricolour dress code; first group would wear orange, centre would be in white and the latter half would be in green. And then we’d also have rasgullas and samosas during the celebrations!”

Mention how most individuals exhibit patriotism only on such occasions, and she opines, “Times have changed and everything has digitalised. Social media has taken over the world. Now, people celebrate Independence Day, or any day for that matter, using filters. But each person can have their own way to celebrate, and it’s all good. The main essence is to remain connected to your motherland. As far as that is there, it’s all okay.”

Born and brought up in Panipat, Kaur still remembers how she would gorge on Delhi’s street food on her visits, because of the Capital’s proximity to her home town. “When I was growing up, we used to come and shop in Delhi over the weekends. Once here, we would go to Gurdwara Bangla Sahib and Sis Ganj Sahib. Even today, whenever we come to Delhi, we have to visit these places. I still love Delhi’s street food, and remember eating chhole kulche, samosas and gol gappe. Yahan gol gappe kehte hain, par ab mujhe pani puri ki aadat ho gayi hai,” laughs Kaur, who is now based in Mumbai.

Her tryst with singing started with her renditions of Gurbani which she says have been the “essence of her career and life”. Recalling her initial years, she says, “Asees is a Punjabi name and it’s Hindi translation means ashish, which implies blessings. I’ve been blessed all my life. Shuruwat se, pehle din se... My father always wanted me to sing Gurbani since in a Sikh family it’s a tradition that everybody wants their children to be associated with Gurbani. That’s how [the journey] started and then I had the dream of becoming a playback singer. I decided to shift to Mumbai.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Naina Arora writes on City, Art and Culture of Gurugram, for the daily Entertainment & Lifestyle supplement, HT City

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