A photo that sings

A photo that sings – Bhai Sahib Bhai Jwala Singh Ragi of Thatha Tibba, Kapurthala.
1935 at Dera Sahib, Lahore.

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On the Jori is Bhai Gurcharan Singh and at about 10 years old is Bhai Avtar Singh playing the Taus. The handsome little boy, on the extreme left, is Bhai Rattan Singh, a gurbhai of Bhai Avtar Singh and a Tabla-Jori player who studied from Bhai Gurcharan Singh. Bhai Rattan Singh played Jori with Bhai Saheb Jwala Singh for the 9 days of kirtan when Mohandas Karam Chand (Mahatma) Gandhi died.

The pinnacle was his victory over the great legendary rababi Bhai Moti of Darbar Sahib Amritsar in the early 1900’s. Bhai Santu played Jori with Bhai Moti and Bhai Harnam Singh of Thatha Tibba (a senior disciple of Ustad Bhai Harnam Singh of Jammu) played with him. But for the dual, they had to swap their pakhawajis to increase the level of difficulty. The competition went on for three days. He is one Kirtaniya whose name everyone took by touching their ears. 

It was moving when in 2000, Rababi Bhai Gaam remembered him and began to sing one of his compositions – ‘Kab lage mastak charnan raj…’

Photo Courtesy Anad Foundation & Bhai Baldeep Singh.
Restoration work by Kamleshwar Singh Batra.

 

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