At the time when people’s interest from classical music was declining a small village in Punjab was setting examples for India. Bhaini Sahib, a small sleepy village near Ludhiana, where young kids grab their music instruments and run to the room where there are portraits of great musicians, where they learn different musical instruments like tabla, dilruba, sitar, and sarod, etc. These kids are taught to listen to natural sounds of peacocks dancing in the rain, where they can accompany each other including other musical instruments and create their own music. This village might be another small village in Punjab, but has an exceptional talent filled. Bhaini Sahib also known as Bhaini Ala is located approximately 25 kilometres away from east of Ludhiana on the famous Ludhiana-Chandigarh highway and the village got its name Bhaini Sahib due to its association with the Sikh religious places.
It has been more than a 100 years now, that every child that is born in this village is taught the art of Indian classical music, whichever career they choose after growing up but music always runs on a parallel track in their life. A vocalist that teaches children says that if you learn music as a child, you end up becoming better human beings. A few have chosen music as their profession and have become popular in their areas of music.
Music has always been important in the Sikh tradition, where the verses of the holy Granth Sahib are set in 31 ragas – that start with Shri and end with Jaijawanti. The script is based on various teachings of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and other saints. Namdhari leader – SatguruPratap Singh, started the tradition of teaching music in the village and he himself was a single and played dilruba. Moreover, he natured the music in Bhaini Sahib that is still touching lives of so many children. The elders in the village encouraged the young generation to pursue music as a career when this profession used to be a respectable one in India.
Perpetuity and excellence have both been a reason behind the learning. Children get to learn from the great masters so that they can teach the coming generation and it so goes on. As an initiative, there is a hostel opened up in central Mumbai where any child willing to learn music can join the Allah Rakha academy and learn for free with some great people who have to learn music at the Bhaini Sahib. A few names like Kirpal Singh who became a banker but returned to his village to teach the art of music and he himself is one of the top taar-shehnai players in the world. Another famous person who learned music from this village is Sukhwinder Singh and plays table and Jodi-pakhawaj – the classical drum and also teacher various students. In Bhaini Sahib village, music is just not believed to be an art but it is also their way of life.
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