Tale of soul-soothing 'street minstrel'!
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, May 4: Meet this local ‘melody king’. Chand, if not exactly a minstrel, can be called a modern version of medieval minstrel.
Every evening when traffic congestion in the city gets eased out and people are on their way back home, Chand comes out of his home to make an honest living with his soul-soothing songs. He has three hungry mouths to feed.
Chand hails from Kokrajhar. He has been singing on the streets of Guwahati for three years. He is famous for pulling crowd whenever he sings. “I generally choose slow Hindi numbers, especially tragic ones. It goes well with the mood of my audience,” he said.
“I was a driver by profession. I learnt music at a very tender age, but didn’t feel like pursuing it later. Now, somehow I’m trying to make my ends meet by singing. The fact is that I enjoy singing. Songs are a direct and effective medium for conveying what the heart wants to say. I earn around Rs. 2500- 3000 per evening,” he said.
Chand travels in different parts of the city by his own autorickshaw van which he drives himself. The van is loaded and fitted with speakers and a music system. He sings on backing tracks of famous Hindi numbers of Kishor Kumar, Udit rayan and others. However, he draws blank whenever inclement weather sweeps the evenings. “I have to run for cover whenever it rains heavily. I cannot take risk with the music system,” he said.
The other day Chand was performing at Survey on the Beltola Road. A large number of street vendors rushed to the spot where he was performing, and surrounded him. “His is a very sweet voice. I have closed my shop to hear him. To hear him singing is more worthy than making money,” one from the audience said.
People peep from their buildings when Chand sings. Passers-by stop for a while and hand him money. Bigger notes, like that of Rs. 500 keep coming. Singer Mukesh’s famous rendition Jane kaha gaye woh din drifts in the air from Chand, mesmerizing the audience.